I’ve been planning to report on how my gig in San Diego went, but I was sort of looking for an angle. When Jeffrey Giliam questioned the reason we have to go through a veil of forgetfulness when we come to earth in the comments of another post I decided I might try to kill two birds with one stone.
What I didn’t say in my post announcing the gig is that the rehearsal I went to two weeks before the gig did not go well. I had hardly picked up my sax in the 16 months since we moved and I had not done much aggressive singing in that time either. As a result my chops were very rusty. At our rehearsal I blew my voice out before we even got to Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl. My sax chops were embarrassing to me and I wore out quickly on it too. I left the rehearsal a bit worried… Was I too musically out of shape to pull this off?
So in the intervening two weeks I pulled out the horn and sang through all of my songs several times. I started feeling a little more confident but you never know if you are ready until you hit the stage and try busting it out for 4 hours straight.
Happily I discovered that in the moment of truth that it all came back — the voice, the horn, everything. It was a good overall gig for me and I even broke out a screaming version of the Jet song (which we had planned to cut because of my failure at rehearsal). Sure, I could be better (on the sax especially) if I practiced a lot more regularly but I think I was at least at the level I was at in my last gig in February if 2004.
What is the moral of this rock and roll story? Well for one it is that it is a lot easier to re-learn something than it is to learn it the first time. It seems to me that most things are like the proverbial “riding a bike”. Once you learn it you can regain that skill quickly again even when you forget how in the meantime (assuming no dramatic injuries or something, of course).
What does this have to do with the veil we went through between this life and our pre-mortal life? Simply that whatever skills and character traits we developed there are going to come back to us quickly and naturally here. The skills and character traits we have never yet developed throughout the eternities past will take a great deal more work and effort for us to develop. The first time we learn something is always the hardest time.
So if there are certain things that just come naturally to you (especially desirable spiritual traits) I suspect that is because it is a lot easier to regain your chops on those old skills for you than it is for those of us that are still learning how to do it the first time. You probably learned those traits and skills in the eternities past and just needed to relearn them here. But if other traits and skills are hard to come by for you, the beauty of this life is that with hard work we can acquire all sorts of wonderful new traits and talents and intelligence. Why is that such a good thing? Because these traits and skills are the only things we get to take with us.
18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come
Maybe the old saying “you can’t take it with you” ought to have an asterisk… I know I am very pleased I will be able to take my hard-earned skills at rockin’ out to the other side.