My jazz hands are better than my singing

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Have you ever sung in a choir?  Despite my hesitancy to own this, I've always seemed to find myself in some kind of choral group.   Mainly through school and church.  What can I say?  I've just gotta sing ;).

Middle School Singers: Something tells me the boys next to me didn't want to be there... also, I remember thinking these shirts were really cool

Sunday, I practiced with a church choir that's going to be performing at stake conference (a semi-annual meeting where several different congregations meet at once and hear uplifting words and music).  I could tell the altos by me really knew their business.  They understood music, sang on pitch, got timing, and allowed the choir director to lead and correct them.  Their skill made it fun to sing

There's something about singing as a group that's powerful - especially when you sing about something you care about.  The sound itself is great, but singing like this teaches me other lessons too.

For instance, a song we're singing is pretty familiar to everyone in the choir, but the changes in the arrangement makes it slightly new.  Some notes go up when you expect them to go down and vice versa.  At first I'd pay attention and sing the right note, but if I let my mind wander or get distracted, I went back to the way I'm used to singing the song.  You could tell other people were doing the same thing, and it would make the sound clash.  So the choir director had to point out the differences to us a few times.  Some latecomers who didn't get the changes pointed out to them would sing the wrong notes, probably believing they were right, even though they can read music and realized their mistake after singing.  They just sang out of habit.

Other times, we hit the right notes, but the diction would be off.  Apparently, if you say your 'A's or 'O's a certain way, your choir sounds a bit too Duck Dynasty.

You get the idea.  When we're off even slightly, no matter if we think we're right or we aren't paying attention or whatever, change needs to be made by us as individuals so the group can be at its best.

I'm continually trying to be of one mind and heart with Bryce and with the rest of my family and friends.  When I've been whole as a person, unified with Bryce, and on the same page with my friends and family, that's when the best things happen.

I get to that place by changing for the better, in other words repenting. The Bible Dictionary starts its definition of repentance like this:

The Greek word of which (repentance) is the translation denotes a change of mind and a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world

I love that definition of repentance or reconciliation - change in one's mind (and heart) to have fresh view.  Such a hopeful thing to be able to start anew.  The two quotes below ring true and especially help in the context of being unified with a spouse or close family member:

"When we choose reconciliation and it's sincere, there is nothing that brings the Spirit (of God) faster in a relationship.  When someone is honest and sincere about apologizing and/or extending forgiveness, and the Spirit comes in so quickly and helps that reconciliation be possible." Jean Stevens
"Anything that's fake pushes us apart.  Mark E Peterson said, 'Honesty is a principle of salvation in the kingdom of God and without it there can be no salvation.'  (We need to say) 'I'm going to be up front and honest about this because I want to change.'  It's not all at once but you begin by choosing to turn your heart to God." Matthew Richardson

Unity is not a matter of agreeing with the other person to keep the peace.  It means you're both seeking to be your best self (the exact note with the exact diction) so you can make the most beautiful sound together.  

Reconciling a relationship, even making a good relationship better, can be hard.  For me, it's especially hard when I have to repent and seek to change the same things over and over.  I get discouraged and give up sometimes.   But when I do turn my heart to God (and for me I especially feel this when I pray and serve others) I've felt that "fresh view"in all areas of my life.  I feel like my voice helps add beautiful sound with all the people I sing with.

Let your voice grow to make the sounds around you beautiful.

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