Yesterday, I had the privilege of helping Joey Schumann, a Christian artist who does Celtic music, to record violin parts for one of his upcoming CDs. It was a lot of fun and a great experience, and I’m grateful for any such opportunity I can get. The hard part was keeping my shoulders and neck from tensing up after about three or four hours of recording.100_1930 edited
Mostly, I played each melody line about five times through. Once I’d finished with that, I listened to what I had just played and simultaneously recorded a harmony part underneath it—five times. Then I did the same thing with a different harmony line—five times. After those parts were finished, I’d go back and re-record some parts that hadn’t gone well or fit with the song. And then we’d move on to the next song and repeat the whole process. This method of recording works great for getting multiple tracks and striving toward perfection on every piece, but it was taking a toll on my muscles. It didn’t matter that my mind and soul were enjoying the music and wanted to keep going; my body wanted to quit.
I’m willing to bet that almost every artist—in fact, almost everybody—runs into this roadblock sooner or later. Perhaps for you, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41b, NIV). In other words, you have a job that you know you need to get done and you look forward to doing, but your body is so tired that you don’t know if you’ll be able to do the job. Or maybe it’s the reverse: your body is plenty rested and healthy, but just thinking about the job you need to do makes you groan. Perhaps you have to fill out paperwork or have a difficult conversation with someone. In any case, whether it’s physical or emotional, our reluctance grabs at us like sticky cobwebs, slowing us down and trying to keep us from reaching our goal.
Sometimes it seems like procrastination and perseverance are continually at war inside me. Procrastination stops me from doing my job; perseverance keeps me going once I start. I have to stop procrastinating and start my job before perseverance can begin to take effect.
For me in the recording studio, I was able to forget about my sore muscles for the most part and concentrate on completing the recording session. (This was easier after a few quick stretches, a couple of massages, and lots of encouragement.)
What’s slowing you down? What’s keeping you from going forward? What hesitations have gotten you so tangled up that you think you can’t get out of them? Whatever the case may be, we all need to get past our reluctant selves and focus our eyes on Jesus. After all, he showed the ultimate example of perseverance: first chasing after his people for generations, then placing one foot in front of the other on his way to the cross. Let’s shove off those cobwebs and keep walking until we reach our destination.
God bless your day!
Alicia Michelle
“Then [Jesus] called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34, NIV).