“Decide today who you will serve…as for my family and me, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
Undecided. That’s what I marked as my major on a college application. I’d always thought I’d major in music. But as high school graduation loomed closer and closer, I began to question my decision to study music in college. Now I’d studied music all my life. Before I was in kindergarten, I was singing hymns and bible verses that my parents had taught me. We have an old cassette tape that daddy made of me and my sister Amy singing songs about Jesus when we were toddlers. Oh yes, and halfway through, there’s a section of endless mandolin playing (That’d be Dad). But if you keep listening, Amy and I come back to sing more!
I began piano lessons when I was five. I had some wonderful piano teachers. Much to their chagrin, I didn’t practice properly. Don’t be mistaken—I practiced every day, and for a long time, too (just ask anyone in my family that was trying to watch TV)! But instead of practicing what was in my piano book, I liked to practice what was in my head. You see, I heard songs in my head that I’d not heard before. I even heard songs I already knew, but I heard them in a different way. There was and is an awesome feeling to take what God has planted in my head and bring it to life with words and music. Once I had the song “out” and onto the keys, I played it over and over. To this day, I wish I had been a better piano student. I wish I could read music the way my teachers wanted me to!
I also listened to music on the radio all the time. When I was about thirteen I fell in love with a Christian music group called Point of Grace. I would sit in my room for hours listening to their music. I would rewind and listen to the different harmonies several times until I knew them all. I loved Nichole Nordeman because of her writing and style and I would listen to her CD and then try to copy the songs on the piano. Mom and Dad introduced us to the Gaithers early on and I’d watch the Gaither Homecoming every Saturday night (I still do—it’s awesome) and get their songs ready to sing at church. One day I listened to a movie soundtrack—music only, no lyrics– in my room all afternoon and then tried unsuccessfully to get someone in my house to pay attention as I “explained” what I thought the music was doing. My poor family. I don’t blame them for not wanting to listen to yet another “music theory of Paige”. It came down to Mother. She would listen if no one else would. When I was done, she said “You sure are a musical thing!” and I felt like a true musician for the first time.
So why was I undecided all of a sudden when it came to choosing a major? Because I just did not have a peace about having a music degree. But if I wasn’t going to major in music, what was I going to do? I asked the Lord over and over what His plan was for me and one day He gave me an answer.
Okay. Besides music, I loved school. I was that kid that the teachers talked about in late May. “Oh, I know I’ll have at least one kid here on the last day of school—I have Paige Muncher, remember?” I felt it was my duty to show up on that last day and “help clean”. But I loved being a student. Did I really have what it takes to be a teacher? God said yes.
So I decided to do what God was telling me to do. And I have never once regretted it. God wanted me to teach from day one. And guess what? I have 17 best friends that just happen to be five and six years old, and they listen to my explanations all day long whether it’s about music, reading, math, or science. It’s like heaven on earth! They are the best audience in the world! They think I’m great on my worst days. And that makes the worst days go away. From the first moment I stepped with much trembling into my kindergarten classroom, I knew I was right where God wanted me to be. He decided that I would be a teacher. A singing teacher!
Decisions don’t have to be hard. I tend to make them that way from time to time. There is one decision that is the most important one of our lives, and that is the decision to follow Jesus. Once we do that, He will guide us through every step of our journey and give us a clear direction on which way to go. He is the Author of our story. So let’s give Him the pen and let Him decide what our story is going to say. This was an important part of my story, and this is my song today. I’ve added a few lyrics of my own…take a listen!