Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.--Victor Hugo
Monday, December 17, 2007
Music Lessons for Christmas
Christmas is a wonderful time of year... a time to celebrate Jesus' birthday (although we have no proof when His birthday actually was). In our culture, when you honor someone's birth, you often reminisce about things they've done or accomplished and recognize them publicly. I am so thankful that my Savior robed Himself in flesh, slept his first nights in a humble animal feeding trough, and grew up to endure severe animosity, persecution, rejection, and humiliation for my sake. He did it all for me... and you. I am thankful because He died on a cross so that I could have salvation, healing, deliverance, and live in blessing (what a gift!). I am also thankful that because of this, I have an eternal home where one day I (the bride) will meet my groom face to face (what another fantastic gift!). This is what Christmas means to me.
Christmas is also about the celebration. Many times in our culture, friends and family get together and have big dinners and play games all day. At one point, there is the tradition of gift giving. Jesus set the example for us by giving Himself. This is a very fun holiday tradition. However, with all the lights, music, toys, and loud festivities, gift giving can sometimes be very stressful..
Problem: Gift giving at Christmas can be extremely stressful. You hope that the gift you select will be truly appreciated. You worry about someone not liking the gift that you saved all year for. You worry that its too cheap, too expensive, too functional, too practical, too outrageous, too personal, too impersonal, on and on....We spend so much time second guessing ourselves, that we are forced into choosing everyone else's leftovers... the items that are not getting bought in the first place. Hence, the cycle repeats itself on different terms: stress of inadequate selection, stress that you have to give something that you only bought out of obligation, stress that you don't even like the gift you're giving, and stress because you know the receiver will not like it either. Will it never end?
Solution: We often forget about those things that are so intangible yet tangible. There are people who have yearned for years to learn something but have never stopped to consider the where's and why's. People often tell me, "I have always wanted to play the piano." Or I get this, "I'd just like to have an introductory course to music." And "I know I'm already (such and such age), do you think its too late to learn how to play music?" It just seems intangible to some so they don't risk buying into it. Do it for them instead. Why not give someone the gift of music lessons, be it piano, voice, violin, saxophone, etc.? God gave us all the ability to learn (another gift), and the gift just needs to be extracted. A few years ago, I had a mother of three approach me before Christmas and tell me that she wanted to sign her children up for piano lessons. The kids were to open up small boxes on Christmas morning and find a "coupon" for piano lessons with myself as teacher for a solid year. The kids were ecstatic. There are so many people who wish they knew how to play an instrument. Look them up in your area or do a Google search. This is a gift that becomes very tangible; it never quits giving because it stays with you in your memory and in your soul as you learn how to play.