Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peace on the Path

When I was young, my father decided I was going to be a concert pianist. He hadn't actually discussed this life plan with me, but set me on the course and paid for piano lessons, sat beside me at the piano night after night ensuring that I was practicing, and generally pushed me into any possible opportunity available for me to play.

Some days I hated it. Some days I didn't mind it so bad. But, as I got to an age where I was finally able to make some of my own decisions, I finally had to sit down with him and tell him that I simply wasn't interested in being a concert pianist.

He took it pretty well. I have to admit, I was expecting a long evening of, "I'm very disappointed in you, Diane."

Because of all of that practice and attention to detail, I'm a pretty good pianist. I have a great command of music, I can sightread well, I fully understand musical theory and there has been some amazing music come from me when my fingers were at a piano keyboard.

Over and over, though, Dad would plead with me to practice harder, play more often. "Diane, you play very well. Can you imagine what would happen if you actually practiced?"

Well, I knew that I had the potential to be great, but I just wasn't interested. Sitting in practice rooms by myself held no interest for me. Playing concerts and performing that music just scared me to the point of wanting to vomit.

I loved my music, but I didn't not want to live this music.

I didn't know what else to do, though, so when I entered college, I chose music as my field of choice and set forth figuring that would be where I would focus my energy for the rest of my life. But, you know what? I never, ever felt as though I was complete with that as the only thing I would accomplish. I didn't want to be on stage, I knew that I could work with kids and I do love teaching private lessons, but that really never worked out for me.

There was something missing.

All of my life, I was identified as a musician. I did it to myself. I figured that because that was what I had invested so much time, energy and even money in - that was what I was supposed to do with my life.

But, it wasn't. I found every possible avenue of avoidance - even rebellion against making music the main purpose of my life. I have always been involved in it and have always attempted to find ways to integrate it fully into my life, but I've always been unsuccessful.

I just finished reading Paulo Coelho's book, "The Alchemist" about a boy who searches for his Personal Legend ... the treasure that will define his life. His heart is drawn to this and as long as he allows his heart to guide him, he finds adventure, love and fulfillment along the journey. The more that he moves toward his Personal Legend and the treasures that have been promised to him, the more at peace he is with himself.

These are the dreams that each of us have. The treasures that have been set before us.

I feel like I'm finally on the right path.

Do you know that some evenings, while I'm reading Christian history or exploring scripture or learning Greek or coming to an understanding of some deep truth of God, I fall apart weeping? It's all I can do to continue because I get so overwhelmed with the power of what I'm learning. As all of that information begins to sort itself out in my mind so that I can transmit it to whomever is going to read it or hear me tell of it, I feel completely at peace.

I'm on the path to my Personal Legend ... to finding the treasures that God set before me years ago. I got detoured along the way, but I'm so thankful that God didn't allow my heart to become rigid and to forget the dreams that He placed there.

Even though others tried to design my path for me throughout different parts of my life, God had patience to wait until I was ready to face this with confidence and excitement.

What is your dream? What does your path look like? Are you walking on it now or are you trapped in a life that has been designed for you by others?

"The Alchemist" won't take very long for you to read. If you haven't read it yet, make an attempt. If you have read it - try it one more time ... this time with purpose!


Higgiq said...

I often refer to Coe and Northwestern as my first life. In my first life I was a student and a trumpet player. My second life was in finance (banking and brokerage industries). I still played my trumpet but it was not my main focus. Then I became a mom and a day care provider. I kind of fell into each of these lives. Now I am trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I don't feel any of my 'lives' were a waste of time tho. They were all important at the time and brought me to who I am now.

TN said...

My book club read The Alchemist. I loved it, but many did NOT. I'm not sure if they just didn't get it or what. This year, my New Year's resolution was to love my path. The path I'm on is NOT where I predicted I'd be or where I wanted to be, but rather than spend my life wishing for another path, I'm trying hard to enjoy the path I'm on. There is beauty, light, and love there. :)