An Open Heart Opens Your Passion
As the saying goes, ‘Practice makes perfect’ but practice can never make anything perfect. We live in a flawed, imperfect world and practice and perfection cannot coexist because one will inevitably cancel out the other. Perfect is about avoiding mistakes in the process of practice and the sense that everything needs to be perfect before we even think about the practice causes this tension on the inside of us that only creates more fear. It is then that our hearts become too afraid, too scared, too fearful to colour outside the lines in life’s ventures. So, we keep our passion to ourselves and stay within the lines that keep us small and contained. Because who knows, with an open heart that opens your passion too wide and too deep is a scary place to be and that is a line the struggling perfectionist within us is not willing to cross.
Recently, on a date night with my husband, we were privileged to experience the Chamber Philharmonia Cologne of Germany. After three years of not being able to travel, they were performing in concert at a local church not far from where we live. Each piece of music the musicians performed was so stunning, so clear, and so precise that the melody and rhythm almost made the musicians who were playing each piece disappear into the music. It felt like the music had made the players invisible.
As I sat listening to the exquisite sounds coming from the stringed instruments playing Vivaldi, Mozart, and Paganini, I wondered how many hours and hours of practice had passed for each musician to reach the level of excellence that was on display in the concert we were enjoying. The relationship between each performer didn’t go unnoticed by the audience as they moved through the highs and lows of each note, smiling at little nonces and nods as they bounced off each other’s energy they all brought to each piece of music. Their open heart opened up their passion and made room for each musician to be able to perform.
I thought about the composers themselves as I listened to the concert. The music they had constructed through their diligent practice is still being played and enjoyed centuries after their deaths. Each one leaves a legacy that has been passed down through the generations and we, the hearers, get to experience a little of what each composer was like.
Then I thought about all the mistakes and blunders they must have made composing each note as the piece of music developed in texture and harmonies. Vivaldi’s open heart opened his passion for creating masterpieces like The Four Seasons. Mozart is still viewed as one of the greatest composers in history, his open heart opened a passion fuelling his relatively short life. And finally, Paganini, the Italian violinist and composer whose open heart opened up his passion to create compositions that served as an inspiration to other composers.
Why did they open their hearts fully to their passion when many of these famous composers never made much money on their compositions while alive? Why did their open hearts fuel their passion even when they suffered ill health and faced financial ruin, even some dying in poverty?
Commitment. That’s what it was. A promise to allow the process of practice to open up their hearts deep and wide so that the affection and devotion fuelled their passion. Whether they felt like doing it or not, they were committed to the practice of opening their hearts fully to their passion regardless of the outcome. Every unseen moment in the dark times of practising wrong notes and fumbling along became seen moments in the light of audiences listening to precise notes that made a melody which brought applause and standing ovations.
And it’s the same with our faith. Our commitment to God and our relationship with Him begins when we spend time with Him. Practising the presence of God helps expand our hearts wider so the far-reaching passion of the Father’s heart to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free, as found in Isaiah 61, is established in our lives.
In his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence writes about practice and calls it, “…one single act that does not end.” He goes on to say that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our souls, we must open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. *
If we are to master the art of loving others in the way Christ loved people, then we need to open our hearts and allow God to work through all our messes, mishaps, and mistakes so our passion becomes compassion. One single act that does not end.
This life is about opening your heart to practising each pitch, rhythm, and chord so it creates a symphony that is so stunning, so clear, and so precise that it makes us who are playing disappear into the music that God continues to create. An open heart opens your passion and it is in the art of practising being in the presence of God that we, the musicians, get lost in the music when the composer reveals Himself to us in the melody. Practice does not make perfect and it’s a good job God prefers practice over perfect.
Does fear stop you from living with an open heart so it opens up your passion?
I pray today, that you will spend some time in God’s presence and practice getting to know Him better so you can live with a heart fully open and live in the freedom He died for. Amen.
Reference: *internet search