Last week we started learning new music at The Special Gathering Vero and Melbourne choirs.   I am the director of two of the six choirs at Special Gathering.  Our choirs sing in local churches and during our chapel services.  Our purpose in traveling to other congregations is to educate the church to the spiritual needs of people who are mentally challenged.  

Trying to keep the choirs more interested in the newer music we will learn, I let them choose the new songs.  Because our members memorize the music, it takes a bit longer to teach them the words and melody.  Therefore I begin about three or four months before they will preform the songs.  This new music contains the songs we’ll be singing in the summer and fall.

During the time we were going over the new selections, Anna kept wandering away in her mind.  Lucy and Nancy were nodding off.  Only Sheila was awake and perky during the half hour that we were rehearsing the new numbers.  After we had sung the new pieces once, maybe twice, we jumped into the older music that we knew.  Immediately, Anna was centered. Lucy and Nancy woke up with smiles.  Their grins returned and they were laughing and happy to sing our old melodic friends.

My philosophy with music and pretty much every project I endeavor is to learn as much as I need so I can do the job and leave the other stuff to people who compose, fix and invent things.  That is especially true with the computer.  After all, I don’t have to have all the music memorized to lead the choir in their first rehearsal of a song and I don’t need to understand the transfer of electrical currents to turn on a light switch.  Usually, my life philosophy serves me will.  That is until I try to invade a world where I need to understand more than I know.  Like blogging.

Our executive director gave me a wonderful gift last week.  It’s a manual on blogging.  Excited and happy, I immediately started reading it.  I underlined and tried to memorize as I went along.  You see, after about a month of blogging, I realized that I know so little about the internet that I don’t even know what I don’t know.  That, of course, means that I don’t know enough about what I’m doing to know what I need to know–much less know how to do what I need to know.  If you are confused by all this, imagine how I feel.

After a few hours of reading my rich treasure book, I needed to put it down–for a few days.  This was a fatal mistake.  I picked it up again yesterday.  I’d forgotten to mark the page I was last reading but that didn’t matter to me at the time.  Because I’d underlined key passages as I went along. I was confident that I could find my way back to my place.  The only problem.  I somehow didn’t remember any thing I had read.  I needed to begin from page one.

This time through I wrote out each acronym that I came to.  Therefore, I was not only remembering what the acronym means but I’ll understand the sentence better.  (My philosophy in reading is the Lemony Snicket Theorywhich is similar to my life philosophy.  I skip the words I don’t understand and usually the context of the material will help me to understand the sentence and the words I didn’t understand. This is not true in blogging.)

Jesus said that we should never begin a blog unless we understand enough about the internet so we can estimate the amount of time it will take us to complete each daily article and draw traffic to our web entry.  Of course, I’m paraphrasing but you get the point.  I’m not a quitter but I sure wish I could sleep through the learning process, like my choir. 

As I venture into a fresh project, I find I have much in common with my mentally challenged members.  It’s easy for me to lose interest in the new things as they become more complicated.  But that is childish, not child-like.  Struggle helps us to learn and survive.  Forcing, Nancy and Lucy to stay awake while we’re doing the hard work of rehearsal is beneficial.  Rereading those first four chapters will embed them into my brain. 

Have you found that your members are sometimes enthused to start a new project only to become totally disinterested when it’s a bit harder than they anticipated?  Have you found, like me, that you are sometimes enthused to start a new project only to become totally disinterested when it’s a bit harder than you anticipated?   Is it possible that we are more like our members, than we are different?