“Christian” or “Non-Christian”: Biblical evidence God wants people to play well.
This could be a seemingly heavy post and I know that some cats shut off at the mention of God, but hear me out for a minute-this could be good. I was on a journey-three years ago after dedicating my life to God after some serious life changing encounters-the easy and obvious thing for me to do was get into the regular roles like, worship leader, pastor, mission trips, or laying everything down and getting Monk-like (not Thelonious) and taking up a life of poverty and servanthood. I honestly did lay music down for a long time, especially practicing my guitar and upright bass, so I could get to the bottom of where my life was being directed. I didn’t feel a calling for anything until I realized it was to just be a musician-it didn’t have to be churched up at all. Granted, I do have some friends that are in ministry and they are amazing, but they have the calling for sure! Here is my word for all musicians, although I do think Christians run into this difficulty more than others because of the teachings in the Bible, so I am going to show you what helps me to be dedicated to my talents and continue, sans guilt. I do believe in moderation, so if anything is hindering you from being a well rounded individual you should look at your priorities and reassess.
I was reading through Psalms, that King David wrote, who was also a musician, and it hit me in all of its glory: “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy.” (Psalm 33:3 NIV) This was/is so inspiring! Especially for a person like me that has a desire to improve and is now a full time student in college. This doesn’t just affect my practice time, it affects how I present myself with rehearsals, auditions, and gig material; I want to be prepared and I want to play well. The second example, “Do you see a man skilled in his work?’ ‘He will serve before Kings…” (Solomon, Proverbs 22:29 NIV) How do you get skilled with your work? You PRACTICE! Solomon says again, “What ever your hand finds to do, you must do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) So what ever you are doing: culinary arts(food, coffee, service), photography, writing, painting of any kind (even graffiti), dance, and music-do it with all your heart. Don’t be lost in obscurity or placate mediocrity. If you need one more example, go to Matthew (25:14-28) and see which cat you want to be. I honestly want the best for you and your musical/spiritual journey. Let’s play!