In my life as a musician, which I suppose was at least 100 years ago, I had to “shed” a lot. Shedding (more so for jazz musicians than our classical counterparts) is a term that means practicing. Jazz is, in my opinion, a pretty hip music, hence the hip terminology to describe an otherwise bland thing like practicing. I’ve started playing again- just a bit here and there. With the playing will definitely come some shedding… if I don’t then I won’t sound that good!
How, you may ask, does this have anything to do with the Christian life? I’m glad you asked. I… well, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I am NOT perfect. Shocking, I know. So, even though I am a follower of Jesus Christ I still mess up sometimes. Sometimes is a broad term. Maybe to narrow it down, I could say I mess up anywhere from daily on down to every 5 minutes! In our lives we will have to face the obvious fact that we are human beings and that we do still sin. I think this idea of getting into a practice routine, “shedding”, working out the kinks in our lives is what Jesus was trying to say. In Luke 9:23 we read, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.” (NLT)
This whole concept of intentionally taking up/shouldering our cross, making a concerted effort to deny ourselves and push our desires back while pushing Christ’s to the forefront is tough. But it is necessary. If, like I have done for a few years now, I were to lay off the trumpet then I’d sound like… well, like it had been several years since I’d really played my horn! What about in our lives as followers of Christ? If it appears that it’s been a while since we’ve done anything that resembles a Christ-led life, maybe we need to “shed” a little.
Until next time!