New Things


And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5. 

I’m taking singing lessons again.

Now before you all get impressed with me and my motivation to better my musical expression, the real hard truth of this new venture in my life was because I have been struggling with having my voice ‘heard’ in many different circumstances, and a very wise person (thank you, Jane) recommended that I start ‘reclaiming’ my own voice.  She, of course meant it in a metaphorical sense, but I’m a pretty concrete person, so I have turned this into music lessons.

So, my I emailed a friend who is a singing teacher at Queen’s and she graciously agreed to let me take lessons from her.  I think she might be regretting her decision, but she’s stuck with me for a little while yet!  You see, music lessons at 50 something years of age are wayyyy different than music lessons at 20 something years of age.  They’re way harder.  I’m having more trouble learning the music and the concepts than I did 35 years ago, and trust me, that’s incredibly frustrating.  I miss my quick and flexible mind.  I miss my quick and flexible body, and I miss my quick and flexible voice.  I also had moments in my first lesson where I actually felt like I was speaking a different language from my teacher (and no, it wasn’t because the songs were in Latin and in French).  She said things like “long vowels” and “space  at the back of your neck” that meant I had to twist my mind in new and wondrous contortions to understand.  Fortunately, my teacher is very expressive, and when I didn’t get something she would demonstrate immediately.

I think I may make up for things just out of sheer determination.  I am, after all, paying for this myself this time, instead of my parents like when I took music lessons as a kid.   So, I will totally get as much bang for my buck as I possibly can.

Of course, all of this is making me think about what it means for us in the church to take on new things and new ideas.

Because none of us are younger, these days.  So, for all of us, there’s a huge struggle to learn a new way of being.  Part of the struggle is accepting the limits of who we are; its harder to learn to do things in a new way, when you’ve been doing it the old way for 50+ years.  Our minds don’t change as easily.  Our brains don’t adjust to new ways of being as nimbly, and its easier to revert back to the old way, because – well- its easier.

The other part of the struggle, is that when we try new things, we are confronted with the losses we have because of our age.  Our physical selves aren’t quite as vibrant as they were.  Our minds aren’t quite as nimble as they were.  I’ve heard so many of you express great sadness over your lack of energy and difficulties with multi-tasking.  When we look around our sanctuary on a Sunday morning, we see far more heads of grey, far more canes, and far fewer of us than there was just a few years ago.

Doing things that are new sometimes can seem just way too hard.  Doing things that are new can seem to come at too high a cost.

Unfortunately, as the saying goes – “the only thing that is constant is change”.  And so, our whole life is about growing and changing and doing things that are new.  Unfortunately, sometimes the new stuff is just really tough.  Because we don’t ‘get it’ as quickly as we once did.  Because with each change there’s all this loss that we have to recognize.  And because, sometimes the loss seems to outweigh the joy of learning something new.

But here’s what I can tell you:

Doing new things?  Its not easy.  But it is good.

Its also right.  And its also necessary.

And God will be there and will be ‘trustworthy and true’ as the scriptures say.

And so, if I can learn how to sing with ‘long vowels’ and ‘space at the back of my neck’ (Yes, those are two ACTUAL instructions from my singing teacher), and I can learn what a diphthong is when I’m singing something in French, then you all can tackle any new thing!  Or, well, WE can tackle any new thing.  Because, at the end of the day, its better together.  Grey hair, canes and all.

Blessings today and remember you are Loved.

Rev. Lynne

 


2 thoughts on “New Things”

  1. There are changes that I welcome. Many. And often great changes happen before I even notice; as John Lennon said “when I’m busy doing other things”.

    Reply

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