I am not paper trained

Every once and awhile I pretend I can fiddle. I break out my instrument and instructional manual and terrorize the neighbors. I was reading up on fiddling the other day and came across a funny insight. Fiddlers have a term for violinists who switch from sheet music to trying to play by ear. They call them “paper trained.”

“Paper trained” violinists never seem to make good fiddlers. They are afraid to make messes, afraid to experiment, afraid of wrong notes. Old time fiddlers couldn’t care less. You hear a tune you like and squeak and squawk until you bang it out as good or better than the original. Old time fiddlers valued spirit and passion, creativity and experimentation. The fiddle is a true pioneer instrument.

I am not a paper trained pastor. I have no seminary degrees, just a burning love for Jesus. I squeak and I squawk. I make messes in the House. I know what the Gospel is supposed to sound like, but no composed sheet music sounds like it.

I have questions. Questions about the Gospel, questions about salvation and questions about the Christian life. I have so many questions that I often feel disqualified to be a pastor. I feel like we should have someone leading who has more answers.

Then I remember that God isn’t a static body of information to be mastered, but a living, moving, breathing Person. And that makes me feel better. If God were a subject to be comprehended, a professor with professional mastery would be the best person to lead. But if God is a Person to be loved, sought out, adored, wooed and wedded, then a lovesick and relentless hunter is what you need.

I’d like to say I am a seeker, but that word carries a foul taste for me with the “seeker sensative” movement. I prefer hunter. I know my quarry – I’ve studied His movements, I know His ways, I’m sensitive to His moods – it is only a matter of time before He is found. And, when I find Him, I think I will be surprised because I think I will find that He is the one who has actually been stalking me.

I can’t wait to be caught by that Lion. What a glorious day that will be. But for now the hunt is on. I carry in my heart the melody of the Gospel of the Kingdom and I will continue to squeak and squawk until it comes out on earth the way I hear it in Heaven.

And it is good to know that my Lion, my Lover, isn’t paper trained either.

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.