I’m not sure why my thoughts strayed to piano teaching the other morning, when I was praying. (Why do my thoughts ever stray at that time? A perennial question.) I recalled my conversation with Angela about the “hard parts” needing more practice than the “easy parts.”
“Think about it, honey,” I said. “If some measures are really easy for you, and some give you lots of trouble, how does it help to just start at the beginning and play the piece straight through? You’d always be playing the easy parts just as much as you do the hard ones.”
It strikes me that this must be true of practice in general, and therefore of practicing the spiritual disciplines, too. I have the same challenge facing me which faces my piano students: I have to identify the parts which give me the most problem, so that I can focus more energy on fixing those parts.
So–what are the hard things for me in the Christian walk? Is it the “praying without ceasing” command? The love of God with all that I am and have? The love of others as myself? Is it tithing or fasting or reading or meditating? It’s a good solid question, which deserves pray and seeking an answer from God. Then when the problem is identified, I can further pray about my plan for improving in that area.
Maybe I should start with keeping my thoughts from straying during prayer?