Sunday, December 27, 2009

Practice makes perfect

Photo by Toby Brown, The Carmi Times

As guest Sunday pianist at the local nursing home, I play from the hymnal the home uses for their services instead of my church hymnal. This morning, I stumbled and fumbled my way through the familiar Christmas carol "O Come All Ye Faithful." Though I've played that song for 40 years, in this new hymnal, the song was written in the key of D instead of my familiar key of C. It wasn't that the song was difficult with two sharps, but my brain kept trying to play what I had practiced all those years instead of what was being asked of me today.

We're like that, you and I. We become what we practice. We echo the attitude we surround ourselves with. We live the life we repeat. We do what we've learned to do. And, we do it over and over and over again.

A young states attorney cautioned a group of fifth graders to watch who they hung out with, telling them we become like the people we surround ourselves with the most. Their bad behavior soon becomes our bad behavior. It becomes normal. It becomes practiced. It becomes a song in the key of C, the song our brain automatically tries to play.

Want to read more? Check out my story: "When it matters most" at

Oh, and yes, for the second morning service, I took out my own hymnal and played the song my brain wanted to play because whether in the key of C or the key of D, "O Come All Ye Faithful" is a song a praise heard best when the right notes are played.