When I picked the word Trust as my word for this year, I expected to think about it in relation to a certain set of circumstances. It seems natural to focus on trusting God for my future, trusting that He has everything under control, and trusting Him for strength and words to say each day. (Not to say that I can do these things well at all, but just that I tend to think of trusting God in those ways first.) But God brought to my attention a different aspect of trust I had not thought of before. It involves trusting God with my piano playing.
Now I have had experience trusting God to get me through pain in my piano playing and to give me the strength needed to play and practice the piano well. But recently I was challenged to trust God enough to risk in my piano playing.
I have a recital coming up (this next Friday, actually), and I know the pieces I'm playing for it quite well. Memorized, analyzed, choreographed, practiced... I could probably play these pieces if you woke me from a sound sleep with cold water in the face, set me in front of a piano and told me to play. Granted, the pieces are still difficult, but I've played through them in their difficult-ness so much that I'm used to it.
I had my recital check so my professors could make sure I was ready to play for the recital. It went fine - I played my pieces well even though I was nervous, and my professors said I passed. But one thing they deeply impressed upon me was their desire to see me take a risk. Make an impact. To not hold back and play it safe, but to put my all into my playing.
I'm totally a play it safe kind of person, and not just in the realm of music. I am almost always concerned about doing things "just right:" not too overdone vs mediocre, not too cheesy vs insincere, not too harsh vs indifferent. I think it comes from a basic desire to fit in and be liked and accepted by others. Plus, I've seen too many people risk and fail, or just look incredibly foolish, and I don't want to be like them. I want to succeed - in life, in relationships, in music.
But I'm starting to realize that success does not necessarily come from control. Success comes from giving it all and trusting God for the rest - in piano playing, and also in my life.