One of the things that I admire most about my oldest son is that he is fearless. He's not scared to mess-up, make a mistake, or even miss the big shot. I am not built that way. I hate to mess-up. I hate to somehow let people down. Sometimes I get so consumed with not messing up that I play scared. And it doesn't just apply to sports. It also applies to music. And it happened yesterday.
One Sunday a month, I play the drums to give our normal drummer a Sunday off. And this month, yesterday was my day. I'm not a bad drummer. I would probably be considered to be average (I think, well maybe). I practice every day and I'm working on getting better. My goal by the end of the year is to move from being average to being good. But my biggest weakness is my lack of experience actually playing with other people. Like I said, I only play once a month. So, I never really get comfortable doing it. I'm good when I'm practicing by myself, but playing with other people is just different. And so, even though I know my music, I still have this fear that I'm going to mess up. And when you mess up on the drums, it's typically a doozy.
Now yesterday, I didn't have any of those major mess ups (thank goodness). I did have a couple of small moments that most people would never notice. Just little things that I didn't play exactly like I had planned. But when those moments happened, it immediately made me tighten up and get nervous. Immediately I started playing scared. Does that ever happen to you? It does to me, especially when I play the drums. If I mess up singing or playing the guitar, I typically don't worry about it. But when it happens on the drums or piano, watch out! Here comes the worry. And more importantly, here comes the fear.
And I've learned that there are typically 2 ways in which to overcome fear.
1) God takes it away. I know that may seem like an overly simplistic answer, but it does happen. There have been circumstances and instances in my life where I was fearful about doing something and God just completely took the fear way. All at once I was just at peace. And I must admit, it's pretty cool! But I must also admit that these instances have been few and far between. Not that God wasn't willing to remove the fear from me, but just that He had another plan in mind. Which leads me to...
2) God keeps putting you in positions where you have to do what scares you over and over again, until slowly over time, the fear leaves. As much as I wish # 1 would happen when it comes to my drum playing, I'm pretty sure # 2 is what God has planned. I would love for another drummer to show up and relieve me of my duties as back-up drummer, but I believe that God is going to use this to continue teaching me how to overcome obstacles in my life. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if on the Sunday I finally feel comfortable playing the drums that someone approaches me after the service who is interested in playing drums.
So, until then, I'm going to keep working on the drums. I'm going to keep scheduling myself to play once a month. And eventually, with God's help, I'm going to overcome this fear of making mistakes on the drums. Let me encourage you to do the same with whatever causes you to fear. Keep trying! Keep working! Keep pushing yourselves! And don't settle for fear when God wants you to be free!