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Keep on playing, don't quit
March 5, 2012
by Pastor Lee Hallstrom, Light of Christ Lutheran Church, Delano

A mother wanted to encourage the progress of her young son at the piano, so she bought two tickets to a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. When they arrived, she found their seats near the front of the concert hall. The boy stared in wonder at the large, shining Steinway piano on the stage.

The mother began talking with a friend and didn’t notice when her son slipped away. Suddenly, the house lights dimmed, the spotlights came on, the Steinway was bathed in light, and the mother noticed that her son was seated at the piano bench, where he began innocently to plunk the keys in a rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

The audience roared with laughter, his mother gasped, but before she could retrieve her son, Paderewski himself appeared on stage and moved quickly toward the keyboard. “No, don’t quit, keep on playing,” he whispered to the boy. And reaching past him with his left hand, the master began improvising a bass part; and then with his right hand, he reached around on the other side of the boy to add a running obbligato.

The crowd was spellbound, and the piece concluded in thunderous applause as the boy announced, “I didn’t know I could do that.”

Sitting in a prison, chained to a Roman prison guard, the apostle Paul would write to the Christians in Philippi, “I can do all things through him (Christ Jesus) who strengthens me.” (4:13) With such a confidence found in God, Paul not only found contentment in his own situation, but he would encourage others not to quit ,but to keep on. He most likely was tuned in to God, whispering to him, “Don’t quit, keep on playing” and he wanted others to hear these words as well.

Do you hear it? God is whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit, keep on playing.” We have a God who enfolds us in his unconditional “Yes,” a God who delights in us and wants us to be all that God created us to be.

Through the grace and love of God, there are so many things at school, at work, at home, that we didn’t know we could do. Even from our feeblest efforts, God can do great things.

May you hear God’s whisper to you, “Keep playing, don’t quit.”