Monday, March 22, 2010
Memorial Box Monday
I am afraid I am all too transparent at times....
But, today was one of those days when my flesh would have me give into the spirit of mourning. I have asked some faith-filled prayer warriors to join me in the fight. And, praise the LORD, he has sent some sweet peace.
I pondered NOT posting a Memorial Box story this week. But, this evening, I talked myself into a walk, and as I walked I talked to God, and as I talked to God I began to think of what I would want to post. The more I considered the post, the more the LORD spoke to my heart.
And, he brought this scripture to remembrance, "but, David encouraged himself in the LORD." (I Samuel 30:6) And, I praise the LORD that the more I considered sharing this story, the more I encouraged myself....
So, if not for anyone else, this one is for me.
I play the piano.
Some of you may know that, and others may not. But, most of you do not know the REST of the story.
I started playing music in fifth grade.
I couldn't play more than Mary Had a Litte Lamb on the clarinet tonight, though I played the clarinet for the next seven years.
Sometime during my pre-teen years, I expressed interest in learning to play the piano. My parents agreed to let me take lessons, and I took for less than a year. My piano teacher was expecting a baby, and she stopped giving lessons.
I continued to play the piano some on my own. If I visited a friend's house where there was a piano, I found myself drawn to it. I wonder if Melanie remembers all of the times I played the piano at her house. Equipped with my knowledge of the treble cleff, I would pick out the notes and play, using only my right hand most of the time.
When I became a Christian, I became more interested in church music. I would watch other pianists play, and sometimes I would go home and try to improvise from watching their hands. I soon taught myself to play "Silent Night," using the hymnal as my road map and adding a few chords along the way.
By the time I graduated high school, I had taught myself to play FOUR entire songs, and I was quite pleased with myself.
Then, something happened.
Our church no longer had a pianist.
One of the deacons came to our house and asked me if I would consider the position...
How crazy is that?
I only knew FOUR songs.....
With love for the church, love for music, and love for Jesus, I agreed. Brother Billy, the music director, was supportive, and actually encouraged me to take the position. For the first few weeks, we sang those four songs at every service. The church helped pay for more piano lessons, and soon, week by week, I added one more song to my repetoire. But, if I had practiced a new song, I didn't have time to practice one of the old songs. So, each week, I told the music director what the congregation would sing. And, each week he smiled and encouraged me to keep working.
I was so young, not yet 20 years old. There were times when I wanted to quit. There were times when I cried. There were times when some were not so nice. But, Brother Billy was always there, encouraging me to keep it up.
I'm not sure how long it was before we actually started having choir practice. I finally had learned enough songs we could choose from a selection. While most of the members of our little country church could hardly read music, I well remember the day one choir member said to another, "I don't think Robbie can play that. It has too many b's at the front." (I could only play 2 flats.)
Twenty five years later, I can play a lot of b's. I can play a lot of sharps, too, but I don't like them very much. But, hand me a Baptist hymnal, and I'll let my fingers show you what God can do with a little talent given to him. I don't play Bach, and I don't play Beethoven...I don't have that talent, but God has given me a gift that He has used far more than I ever could have imagined when I picked out the first chord of "Silent Night."
I think I'll put a music note in our Memorial Box. I want my children to know that "little is much when God is in it." I want them to know that he will multiply the gifts we give to him.
And, I want you to know that I sat down to play the piano tonight, and God used the gift He has given me, to encourage me.
I'm so glad he did.