I took piano lessons for 5 years. From the 2nd grade through the 6th, I went for once a week instruction and practiced on an old upright as faithfully as my Mama made me. I started with a teacher who was young and fun. She let me help pick out the music I wanted to work on and lovingly encouraged me. Once she, sadly, became ill with cancer, my parents found another instructor for my sister and me. By this point (around age 11-12) I was less interested in the piano and much into my friends and what they were doing. Combine this fact with the poor opinion I had of my new instructor (she was old with long yellow nails that clicked on the keys as SHE played and she sang off-key as I played), and I had less than 0% interest in continuing my music education. It is really a shame, too. I come from a very musically talented family.
My parents made me stick with piano through the remainder of my 6th grade year and then mercifully let me quit. I was spending half of my lesson time in my teacher’s bathroom anyway to avoid the torture. I only wish I was kidding. When I finally walked out of my last lesson, I felt the shackles fall off my ankles and the prison gates open up. Ok, maybe now I’m kidding.
Five years is a long time to conscientiously (welll…) practice something – anything. And yet today I cannot play a note. Okay, that might not be entirely true. I can show you where middle C is on a keyboard and play a chord from there. But I couldn’t accurately name the other notes in that chord. Anyway. My point is that the skill and knowledge I acquired learning and studying and practicing for 5 years was lost without perseverance and repetition.
I’m being reminded of late how important perseverance and repetition are where Bible study is concerned. Because it is “living and active” God constantly reveals different things about Himself to me – often from the same passage. I heard someone say recently (I wish I could remember who – see how much I need repetition?) that we need to have an open Bible and an open life. I love that. But I would take it a step further to say that our lives need to be open to the Bible. The more time I spend in God’s word, the more conviction and correction I experience. If that sounds like a big, fat bummer to you, let me encourage you that great freedom comes from confession and repentance.
I listened to an audio book (I wish I could remember which one – yes, it’s a theme) that referred to a believer’s regular time with God as “the daily office”. I got fired up about this. Time in God’s word and prayer is the real work of a Christ-follower. Calling it my “daily office” makes so much for sense to me than “quiet time” (Mine’s not always quiet) or “daily devotion” (what does that mean?).
In my personal study recently, I’ve been more and more enlightened to the story of God’s rescue plan for us. Spoiler alert: it’s the Bible. The whole thing tells this story. Not just the Christmas story. Not just the parts we read at Easter. All of it. Every verse, every story points to our need of a Savior and how God sent His Son Jesus to be just that. I want to know a God who would do that for me, and the best way to get to know Him is spending time with Him. In prayer. And especially in His word. Every day. As much as possible. The Bible is His story. It’s our story. It’s my story of rescue. If there is anything about this rescue story that you are unsure of, please send me a private message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or pick up a Bible and start reading in the book of John. God longs to rescue you too.