Practice as Service

Writing to this blog does take time that could be spent on other, theoretically, productive things, and I have occasionally returned to the question of whether maintaining this site, basically for my own entertainment, it worth that time.

With all my commitments and desires and interests, everything I do continually comes back under scrutiny.

I look at things over and over again, determining why they’re in my life, and whether they are performing their intended function (it’s really easy to throw away magazines in this mood).

Several times this week I’ve used the analogy of a musician practicing scales, when I try to explain my writing, or why I write.

In themselves scales are not particularly beautiful music, and doing them isn’t even for anyone but the musician. But it is those daily exercises that provide the necessary familiarity with the instrument that enables him/her to be an accomplished musician.

My writing may, as I say, be solely for my own entertainment, but everything I do is honing my craft, and preparing me for my next piece.

I no longer question if this writing has value, because I am convinced it does.

Doubtless it was hours and days of David’s “diddly-dorking around” with a sling and stones that prepared him first for the lion and the bear, and ultimately for Goliath.

Practice is a form of faithful service.

It assumes that there is something worth preparing for (a word in season, for example), and rises to that call.

11 thoughts on “Practice as Service

  1. Thanks! I had started to doubt my own blogging. This helps me. :) Also, I’m glad you came to this conclusion for yourself but also for me because I really enjoy reading what you write!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. The David analogy really spoke to me and reminded me how God can use the small and seemingly useless things (like blogging *grin*) for His glory. Of course, we have to make sure that we are doing His will first.

    I used to be obssessed with quilting. I mastered the craft and made some beautiful quilts-yet, it was not what God had for me to do. It took place of my family (and my house was way too small for such an endeavor). I had severe discontentment until I gave it up to God. I’m glad I did-now I have peace. God has given me other things to do-blogging, writing, etc, and I have more time for my family.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with this! I get sad sometimes when I think I have to completely stop what I am doing on writing (blog or otherwise) to give my attention to my children. A lot of the times they can bring me their question and I don’t have to leave my desk. Sometimes, the baby just needs me to hold here on my lap while she piddles with something on my desk. So being attentive to and with my children, for me, doesn’t mean I have to put my practice (read interests, hobbies, things that round me out) on hold.

    So, I’ll get off my soapbox. I’m looking through your past through entries… also hate it when they soften fairytales… didn’t one version of Cinderella have her sisters cutting off their toes to fit in the glass slipper?

    As for your reading list, I am currently reading a fantasy/sci-fi anthology called Firebirds Rising… you might find it useful and the stoies are shorter, so maybe a little break and easier to get through.

    I’m hosting a new meme… come by and leave your link if you want!

  4. Blogging as scale practice! I love it. That is a perfect analogy that helps us move away from our society’s emphasis on results, results, results.

    The specific activity may not produce specific results, but our products and our words will be better as a result of the practice.

  5. This is really beautiful. How well I remember those hours of scales! I’ve found that I’ve always had a creative outlet in my life – sometimes journaling, writting poetry, writting music…or blogging. It helps me to see through the “in your face” parts of life to see the beauty and the spirituality. Or, “everyday life as lyric poetry.” :)

  6. I was just thinking this the other day. I can tell that my writing has considerably improved because of the frequent practice on my blog – it has helped me practice concisely communicating.

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  8. What a perfect analogy – between practicing scales and writing/blogging. I’ve thought the same things, there are “better” things I could be doing. Being a former piano student when you said practicing scales…well, there was my answer – thanks for the insight.

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  10. I have often thought I waste too much time blogging but I do enjoy writing for Faith Lifts and at times I feel a little proud of something I have blogged about. But, I do believe the more I write the better I become. It all helps in the long run… At least I hope it does.

    Thank you!

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