Thursday, October 16, 2008

And your point is….?

Upon waking today I was excited that it was Wednesday, Bible study morning. Our group is studying Wising Up, a study of Proverbs by Beth Moore and I have learned so much. Last night before turning out the light I read through Proverbs 22. There is such a rich diet, right in that chapter! It seems like the verses about economy, frugality, wisdom with money, are all highlighted by the Holy Spirit.

Sure enough, today’s study was Wising Up with Money. Beth shared some very personal experiences, including mistakes, with money. She taught ways to be foolish and ways to be wise with money. I was blessed. Then we had a discussion.

The discussion seemed to reflect great anxiety in the lives of members of the group who are old enough to remember the Great Depression, or the effects on their families. Nannie also displays great anxiety right now, as she reflects on the GD. After class, L and I went to lunch and concluded that we aren’t living any differently than we were last week, economically speaking. Actually, she paid 23 cents more for pasta this week, and I paid almost 50 cents less per gallon of gasoline, so all in all, we are living more abundantly than last week.

So why the fear, anger, frustration and anxiety? God is in control, and I pray daily that every indiscretion of every candidate running for elected office on November 4 will be exposed. We should know where their weaknesses are, right now. They should enter office in humility and a spirit of serving the people by whom they will be elected, right?

After lunch I began teaching and found only two students who had adequately prepared by practicing and listening to their CD’s this week. Many of them are too busy—over scheduled with extra activities. Most of them only practice three days a week. Many of them never listen at all. I consider it the parents’ responsibility to play the CD and to observe at least a portion of each practice session. Certainly the parents should be able to watch each child and to encourage good violin posture and excellent tone. There comes a point where students are responsible for their own technical maintenance, but the parents are paying for the lessons and should be interested in the product—good tone, progress in understanding theory, adding to the repertoire.

In my policy letter I explain parents’ responsibilities, along with the students’ and mine. Mine include providing performance opportunities. I have several to which I committed the studio, gave two months to six weeks notice of the dates and listed the repertoire to be performed. The snare is other activities and conflicting schedules. Several families cannot commit to the performances because of the Nutcracker and because of sports. The rehearsals and games are not scheduled in advance. These families will not know their availability until a few days before the performance because directors and coaches schedule the exact times at the last minute.

My point is that my commitment to the performances was made in August. I thought the students were committed then also. Now they aren’t, and it isn’t their choice, or fault. My real point is, what is the point? Of a committment? A performance without practice? Two weeks without listening to the CD’s, which is the performance standard? Earning a gold medal on a test or winning a certificate or gold cup from a judge if you do not share the music you have learned with an audience? Why play only for yourself, halfheartedly, when you can give a rich gift of beautiful music to an audience?

And why do we say we trust God with our lives when we don’t really trust Him with our elected and appointed officials and our own money? I think I have a point here, but if I comb my hair just the right way, maybe it won’t be obvious

1 comment:

Candy said...

Excellent observations. Very interesting. I sure have missed you girls on Wednesday. I'll be back this week!