Piano Lessons (and the importance of Christmas)

10 12 2010

When I was six years old, my family had a piano given to us. It was a dusty old thing that was hopelessly out of tune, but for my brother and I, it was fun to hash out TV themes and easy-to-learn, one-fingered melodies.  Shortly thereafter, my mother signed me up for piano lessons. Now,  other parents enroll their youngsters and watch them excel at the keyboard. Not me. Spending thirty minutes each afternoon sitting on a piano bench felt like a torture (just one level away from stepping on broken glass!).

My experiences were like Max Lucado’s. He wrote, “Some of the music, though, I learned to enjoy. I hammered the staccatos. I belabored the crescendos. The thundering finishes I kettle-drummed. But there was one instruction in the music I could never obey to my teacher’s satisfaction: The rest. The zigzagged command to do nothing. Nothing! What sense does that make? Why sit at the piano and pause when you can pound?” (from his book,  The applause of Heaven)

My teacher Mrs. Stoffels would patiently explain such an answer, “Because music is always sweeter after a rest.”

It didn’t make sense to me at that age. But now, a few decades later, the words ring with wisdom-divine wisdom. To truly appreciate the good life God has given us, we must slow down.

In the same way, to truly enjoy the Christmas season, we have to pause, rest, and like Mary, spend some unhurried time meditating on this incredible Savior of ours. This Christmas, let’s make the most of the precious time we have.




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