The hammers strike against the strings and I feel the vibrations seep through the keys into my fingertips as I press forcefully down on them. The notes enter my ears, while the words of the hymn arrangement I am playing swirl through my mind – comforting, challenging, rebuking me. My practice consists of playing a phrase of the music and repeating it. Play and repeat, play, repeat…repeat, repeat, repeat. My stubborn fingers slowly gain confidence and the notes flow more smoothly. Now and then a combination of notes is especially appealing, giving me a thrill and a tantalizing sample of a momentary satisfaction of my unending thirst for glorious music…I am always left wanting more, but for now I rest in the knowledge that one day in Glory the most glorious music ever heard will fall on my ears, and I will be fully satisfied for all eternity…
The struggle for humility and the right heart attitude is equal to the struggle to learn the right notes. My heart is more stubborn than my fingers, but with practice, it too will learn to give its praise only to God. Should I keep trying to do this? I’ve been asking myself. There are other pursuits to which I owe my time. But I am captivated by the music…I don’t want to stop trying, reaching for new goals, learning techniques and hearing things come from the instrument that I never thought I would hear from these fingers, drinking in the beauty of music. I am privileged to have this instrument and this knowledge, this undeserved opportunity to be involved in making God’s praise glorious, as long as I can get my stubborn pride out of the way. I don’t want to stop learning the lessons that I am taught each time I sit down at the piano – the heart ones as well as the musical ones. So I will remain captured – captured in obedience to God, serving Him as He allows me – not by song, because the music is not what I worship, but by the One who created music and gives each one the ability to make it.
“Sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to Yahweh, praise His name;
proclaim His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonderful works among all peoples.
For the Lord is great and is highly praised;
He is feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His name;
bring an offering and enter His courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness;
tremble before Him, all the earth.”
~Psalm 96: 1-9~
Photo from http://www.pianoshowcaseva.com/