Thursday, December 20, 2012

Inspired Outside the Box

When I was studying music in my younger years I found myself in a rather bizarre situation.  I only had the opportunity to play piano, which held little charm for me, and the attitude of those in authority around me informed me that the point of my learning to play was to be able to play hymns from a proscribed hymnbook.  This, they wisely declared, was the end and purpose of my education, and by the way, I had to practice those songs they chose and in the manner they dictated.  You may well imagine I didn't learn piano very well.  As an adolescent I blamed myself incessantly, believing that I simply had not the intelligence and would burn in hell as it were for not forcing myself to learn to play as instructed.  I gave up on piano entirely.

Some months ago I came back to the idea and felt an indescribable urge to learn to play.  It had frustrated me that I could not do so.  Again I had people tell me that hymns were the highest and best and only thing I could and ought to play.  I failed.  But then I took the matter to God on my knees.  I told Him that I didn't want to be disrespectful but could not do what I was told I should do in this matter.  I felt His approval of this plan.  I further prayed that He help me learn to play.  Sitting down at the keyboard once again I felt my fingers loosen like never before and I sight read perfectly, albeit rather slowly, a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach.  I never in my wildest dreams would have believed I could had played anything by such a master.  I also have been playing Beethoven, Mozart, and others.  I have high respect for church hymns out of the proscribed green book I have but I don't think anyone in their right mind would argue that musically speaking, they are more inspired than something like Handel's Messiah.  They have a certain use and purpose but they don't encompass everything. 

Sometimes in life I think we expect ourselves or others to follow a certain path with the surety within our own understandings that it is the right one.  But God is not something we can fit into a box.  It is, I feel, of vast and extreme importance to follow the commands of God but the manner in which we do so may be a little unexpected.  Do not be upset if someone you love is not behaving exactly in the manner you see fit.  It may be and probably is, that God has a greater plan in mind than our tiny little comprehensions can conceive.  Never mind our own expectations.  Humbly, carefully, and honestly following God's personal instruction is higher and truthfully, much safer. 

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