Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Musical Piece of Life: Pleasing the Composer

July 16, 2014 - Wednesday

I went back to my heart for playing the piano.. in an interesting way, the Lord is allowing me to learn much about life from it... 

Please read on... :) and see what the Lord is teaching me through this... I pray that these things will be used by the Lord to bless your heart, dear reader.

Last week I restarted playing the piano for the first time after a few months of rest.. I had a different feeling in my heart -- it is that I had to be more mature in my approach to my piano playing, so I decided to commit myself to finish the pieces that I will start playing from now on (as much as I could, and within the bounds of my ability).. For a fact, I committed to very few of my piano pieces in the past, because I got used to selectively play those parts of a piece which are easy, even though I know that every part of the piece makes such beautiful melodies... I have allowed myself to be content with just hearing myself play the easy parts and not committing myself to the entire piece (for better or worse, 'til death do us part. :3 -- this is such a terrible remark, by the way. :p ) The point is, in a way, it somehow reflects my character in dealing with real life situations, right?

So, then, I committed myself to a certain [challenging] piece [for me] which is the instrumental to the song "The Splendor of His Holiness" by Thomas Fettke*. The Lord was faithfully instructing me even while I was at it... A realization that responding to life circumstances is similar to playing a musical piece.... There are parts which are easy, and pleasant to play... Easy enough that I can immediately learn what I needed to for that moment and play the part over and over again without much effort...

But there are also those parts where there are just too many notes to be played in other consecutive measures, and it's soooo difficult to learn.. I have to stay in a particular measure for a longer time than the other parts.. Those parts are usually the unpleasant ones to play because it takes much more time to learn and much more mistakes before finally learning it.. It requires much patience -- not only with the musical piece, but more so with myself...  It takes a long time to practice and master.. I have to go through a part again and again with so many errors everytime I repeat it. (These moments were really bad that I can almost already hear my previous piano teacher saying, "Will you listen to what you are playing?", in my brain once more. Yes, she had that impact! haha! But I learned well from her, you know. I praise the Lord for her.)

The only time I can play the notes correctly, and with both hands, is when I play them reeeeeeeeally slow. The whole experience only gets pleasant when I finally learn where my fingers are supposed to land at a particular time, and with proper speed. (Yey!)

See how playing a musical piece reflects life? In response to how the Lord is orchestrating things in my life, I have to learn this: I cannot keep on lingering around the easy, breezy, comfortable parts of the piece -- the parts which I have mastered pretty quickly.. On the other hand, I cannot keep on skipping the difficult parts of the piece... of this life... There has to be proper balance.. We also know that sanctification happens during the tough times, because only there can we find room for better God-glorifying responses.

Consequently, as I committed myself to that piece which is pretty tough for me, I realized that the difficult parts really take much more time than the other parts.. Sometimes, not only twice as much time and effort, but even more... It really takes patience, perseverance, endurance...

During those difficulties, many times, I honestly felt like giving up and moving on to another piece which is probably more familiar; or perhaps, playing the easy parts more and just enjoying the experience of having mastered certain parts of the piece.. But then if I do this, I cannot see the beauty of the big picture, the harmony of the entire musical piece. 

I really haven't finished learning the piece yet, but be encouraged from my recent experience that most difficult parts I've painstakingly learned (so far) are not that difficult for me anymore... Yes, those parts took a lot of effort, time, failures, frustrations, ambivalence over pressing on or giving up, a lot of wondering whether I had enough training to play it or not.. I was also praying for help... but by God's grace, He didn't allow me to give up and even helps me to continue on.

Continue on with the difficulties of life... Fail I will, but He remains faithful (2Tim.2:13).. The Lord, He is with me when I am tired of my own mistakes, He renews my strength (Isa.40:31) and He is my rest (Matt.11:28).. He lifts me up and allows Himself to be my hope when I am downcast (Ps.42:5) and discouraged by my own sinfulness.. When I feel like giving up, I can trust that my help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the heaven and the earth (Ps.121:1-2). When I don't know what to do, He gives me wisdom without finding fault (Jas. 1:5). He prays for me (Heb.7:25; Rom.8:34). Even in seemingly impossible circumstances in my life, He will never leave me, nor forsake me (Heb.13:5). When I am weak, He remains strong. His grace is always sufficient. (2Cor.12:9)

Have you noticed my Lord's character of being such a wonderful counselor (Isa. 9:6) and faithful teacher? It amazes me at how much instruction He gives every moment of my life. I, nothing, am grateful for being a recipient of the Lord's mercy. 

Lord, I cannot do it alone.. please help me be committed to the 'life piece' you have prepared for me.. Help me not to focus on the easy parts alone.. Help me persevere through the difficult times that You lovingly and sovereignly allow in each season of my life.. So that at the end of the musical piece of my life, I'll look much more like You, a pleasing melody as I go through the entire piece of my Composer.. Joined with others, a harmonioius orchestra for Your pleasure and delight. <3

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (Phil.1:6)

Help & Heart notes:
*"The Splendor of His Holiness" by Thomas Fettke (listen to it here)will be our ministry song offering for this month. (And I want to make it clear that I'm NOT the one who will be recording the instrumental for our song offering.) :D