My daughter came home with a D in band on her last report card. That's a real problem because two nine weeks in a row with a grade below a C can get her kicked out of her wonderful school (it is a magnet school for high-performing students). I decided to supervise the next practice session to see if I could come up with any ideas on how to improve the grade. We went into her room. She got out the saxophone and assembled it. She got out her music. She arranged everything just so. She started to play a song and squawked the second note. She groaned. She looked at her saxophone. She adjusted this and that. Then she started over. Then she clunked another note. She groaned, she looked, she adjusted...in short, in a ten minute session she had played four notes, two of which this tone deaf mom could tell weren't right. I told her "just play the song, over and over and over again, no matter how bad it sounds. If it still sounds bad Monday, at least you'll have the fingering down, and you can ask Ms. G what you are doing wrong." By Monday the song sounded much better, and she has gotten Bs on her last two quizzes.
I say all that because there have been two parts of my life that I know need improving--my weight and my prayer life. This year I have been making a major effort on my weight, and it has paid off, but the last couple of weeks the weight loss has been minimal. I knew Easter week's weigh-in wouldn't be that great, after all, I ate lots of jelly beans and chocolate. This week I expected more, though when I think about it, I haven't been tracking closely, and my sweet tooth has been acting up. I was taking a walk this afternoon, and thinking and praying as I walked, and I kept thinking about my daughter and her sax. Just play the song--just do what you need to do, over and over, even if you don't do it well, and eventually that work will pay off.
As for my prayer life, well, I committed to adoration for an hour a week back in October, and so far I've managed to keep that commitment, and it has been good for me. But, like my weight, there is still a long way to go. I can look at websites, read books, and otherwise fiddle around with prayer, but the fact of the matter is, I need to just do it. Funny the things kids teach us.