, , , , , , ,

Meet Julia.

She’s a sweet little music student of mine. Julia usually doesn’t do most things the “correct” way. And although she’s been a student of mine for the past two years, I’m not sure which one of us has taught the other more.

When we started working together I went into it like I usually do – believing I would teach her music! And while I’m doing that, she’s taught me an awful lot about life and people without ever saying a word.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter how hard I’ve tried, for the life of me I can’t get her to do things the way I’ve always believed they should be done. She’s just not like most other students.

And yet through my frustration with her at times, it’s kinda why she’s a little special to me. I realized, she’s actually a lot like me. I don’t usually do things the way they’re supposed to be done. I don’t know, I’ve just never been great at following rules and doing life the way everyone else does.

She changes the rules most of the time. She doesn’t sit up straight and tall with her feet dangling and curved fingers like the books says you’re supposed to when you play a piano. Her notes aren’t smoothly connected almost all of the time, she sighs out loud when it feels hard and she wiggles around the entire time she’s sight-reading a page of music.

A few weeks back during her lesson, as I noticed my frustration building – this concept came to me:

It’s not my job to force her to follow all of the rules. My job is to simply convince her to fall in love with music. That’s it!  Beauty doesn’t come as a result of fear or rules. Beauty comes as a result of falling in love.

I guess this is why I’ve never been great at (or enjoyed) sight-reading page upon page of technical sheet music. The music that comes from my fingers isn’t forced, it can’t be defined within neatly constructed patterns and rhythms – it comes out a heart that has simply fallen in love with making music.

As a music teacher, this is my new goal with each student.

And as a mother, it’s my job to share our faith with our children and live in such a way that my life convinces them to fall in love with Jesus all on their own. A heart of love always wins over a head full of rules.

This is why I hate it when I see church people lead or even punish their children by guilting them into good behavior by instilling fear of God over love of God.

Fear never does anything to motivate or bring out beauty. Love does. Love brings forth the most priceless and rare gifts. Not rules or fear of being a huge disappointment to God and others.

As we walk with Jesus, even in all of our own goodness we may strive so hard to offer up, our own best efforts at righteousness will never be enough. And yet even in all of it’s imperfection and fragility, still our lives reflect the glory of the Creator of the Universe. Not because we live out of fear of Him

but simply because we’ve fallen in love.

And thus, a life lived out of love convinces others to do the same.

A head full of rules, can never compete with the depth of a heart that’s fallen in love. 

And so today when Julia has her lesson with me, she will wiggle all around as she plays each detached note, and her feet will be folded up underneath her and her fingers might look like spaghetti, but I won’t bother fighting it. Because right now, I’m much more concerned with her heart than her head.