I do not consider myself a pianist, as I am not classically trained, nor do I read music very well. It’s funny for me to think about the way my fingers dance along the keys with ease when they are inspired. The reality is, I’m not coordinated enough to read the treble and bass cleft notes at the same time. I’ve never been able to do it. I began piano lessons in the fourth grade, continuing them through junior high. I was a terrible student. Too busy for theory and cursed with an ear that kept me from learning, I’d hear the teacher play the song and pick thru it, never using the music. She was often frustrated with me…with that ear. I’d always try to play a song created when I should have been practicing my lesson. I did not play the right way. Truth is, at the end of 8th grade, Mrs. Smith decided she could not teach me. I was not serious enough. She was a brilliant pianist and extraordinary teacher, with many a protegé who attended Julliard and and other distinguished music institutions. She was tired of piddling with me, which also frustrated my parents. I wondered why I couldn’t play the right way. Could I learn? Is it too late? But the greater question is, “Is the learned way the best way for me?”
I’ve pondered it many times, only now this concept has actually translated from music to a variety of life topics.”Is the learned way the best way?” The world has a way of doing things. We have bought into the training of our culture. We have become dependent on a system. To be a pianist, you should be classically trained. To be a theologian, you must go to seminary and become accomplished in understanding and articulating religion. To be an expert in education, certainly you must have a doctorate. Four years of college, and an MBA even, seems to be the minimum entrance requirement for a “good” job. Our so-called “qualifications” in many cases have been reduced to lines on a resume, and the receipt of a piece of university paper. A writer needs an English degree. Pedigree often secures an invitation to the best opportunity. The politics of life struggle ferociously with our desire and will.
And yet, I am reminded of a passage from my very favorite book,
“Friends, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
It takes me back to the piano. It reminds me of the times when I was the weakest and He lifted me. It encourages me.
Teach me your ways, Lord. I will boast in Your greatness. You put a song in my heart.