My husband asked me the other day (I think we were watching the Sing Off) what sight-reading was. It is a musical term meaning that if I am given a piece of music, that I’ve never seen or heard before, I can simply play it as I see it written on the paper without any practice. Similar to regular reading. If you are handed a new book that you have never read before, you can simply turn to the first page and read it. In music, it is a tad more difficult as we are not taught to play music as fervently as we are taught to read the printed word.
In sight-reading, practice makes perfect. That sounds ridiculous but it is true. The more you spend time sight-reading new music, the more proficient you become; just like witnessing or sharing your faith.
Sharing my faith is a skill that I’ve had to acquire – I was not fervently taught to do so as a child. Studying God’s word (learning to read music), discussing what scripture means to my life with other more mature believers (taking private lessons), testing out my knowledge as I apply it to my own life every day (practice, practice, practice).
I didn’t start with the most difficult piece of music I could find. I started with the scales. The basic foundations of music. I challenged myself with harder and harder pieces as my skills grew. If I had never tried to play more difficult pieces – pieces of music that were somewhat out of my reach – my musical skills would have been stagnant. Growth requires accepting challenges. Do something you don’t think you can do. Try. You may fail, but that isn’t the end of the world. Try again until you get it.
I have slowly grown more confident in sharing the truth of the Gospels of Jesus Christ.
I can now “sight read” in almost any situation. In addition to practice, I have God’s Holy Spirit within me guiding my thoughts and reminding me of His word. I have moved from being spoon fed – living only on milk – to the meat of the meal. I can now feed others. I’ve moved on from the scales to a beautiful melody. This is the Christian walk – the growth process.
God makes beautiful music, art, beauty around every corner when we walk with Him and allow Him to shape us and love us into who He created us to be. Just like musicians, we must always practice, always strive for knowing God better, always resting in His love knowing who we are in Jesus Christ – saints. When we know who we are and who God is, we are confident in sharing our knowledge of the truth with those who have ears to hear. We can sight-read.
Be encouraged in your walk with Jesus. Press on for the prize! Make beautiful music for God.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16