Monday, September 22, 2014

Struggling to Submit

Last week, I had a really rough piano lesson.  Today, things went better.  An issue, though, is still at play that I must keep a handle on.  Nerves are the main problem, but the cause of that main problem was revealed later in the week.  And it makes sense, but it really surprised me.  The reason I struggle with nerves and performing under pressure is submission.
Selfie in Georgetown, CO.  He's a catch!

Submission is typically what you hear in the pulpit about wives and their husbands.  This submission issue is much broader than me respecting Mr. Butler.  This is submission to anyone and anything.  Even walking in a crowd at the fair, I practically refuse to be lead by someone else. Either I don't trust them to be right and/or I couldn't possibly face being wrong.  In a piano lesson (or every other role in my life), I don't want to be wrong.  Not only do I not want to be wrong, but I don't want to be thought of as wrong, unenlightened or criticized in any way.  Unless, of course, it was my idea.  Then it's fine.  But ultimately I'm still right.  See that?

Even when the entire purpose of an encounter (a piano lesson, for example) is to critique my performance, it still kills me if I don't execute well.  And with the amount of practice I haven't done in recent years and how difficult it is to find quiet time for focused practice, it's absolutely reasonable that I should struggle for a while.  Due to a series of events over the week, my refusal to be honest and humble with myself became painfully obvious to me.  All of the lessons about Jesus' humbling himself for my sake, when he of all beings had a right to be indignant and self-righteous never really fully made it into my heart.  I found my humility stretched as far as everyone else treating me fairly went.  Whenever that stopped, then my submission quit.  So yeah, I know.  It never really was there to begin with.

Facing mountains can force you to face your own struggles with more honesty.

I come from several lines of strong-willed, prideful, sensitive people and knowing something about myself doesn't make it disappear over night.  I do know this, though: I had a better lesson today.  I practiced more, so that definitely helped.  But I went in admitting and accepting to myself that I had a lot of work to do.  I was there to learn to be better, not prove I'm the best (which I'm never going to be anyway).  I'm not sure what this is going to look like or mean in the future, but I have a feeling that understanding submission throughout my whole existence is a key to pleasing God, no matter what.
And pleasing God has never been so real to me as with having a daughter.  While she may have some personality traits like her daddy, Lord willing, she will walk the road of a woman.  If and how she strives to please the Lord and demonstrate grace and humble beauty to those around her lies largely on what she sees.  And she's going to see a lot of me.  I pray that my heart will learn submission and grace quickly.

My girl

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