Piano and Persistence

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kandy piano

Despite how this looks, I don’t play piano.


It wasn’t as if my mother didn’t give me plenty of opportunity. She drug me from teacher to teacher in our little community, trying to find someone who could unlock the potential that she just knew was in my hands.


I can remember at least three teachers – maybe four – all an acceptable distance apart, none of whom had heard from the previous one about my lack of determination. 


We had a piano at home and I did practice. (I had to. It was my prerequisite before my evening meal.) 


I sat day after day in front of the keys, plunking out “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” until both Mama and I were drenched. 


If I messed up, I started over. The problem always hovered around the same few bars. But somehow practice never made perfect.


I never became a virtuoso. 


I had great dreams about the piano. Not during the day, but literally at night while asleep. In these dreams, I tickled the keys with a ragtime that would have impressed Scott Joplin himself. 


But somehow, it just wasn’t in me. I was never committed enough to play. 


I did the bare minimum and fudged with the clock when mother wasn’t looking. And sometime around my 13th birthday, my mother realized it too and the lessons stopped. Honestly, I’ve never regretted it.


That said, I love piano geniuses. Vince Guaraldi is my favorite. I have several of his CD’s (including A Charlie Brown Christmas) and listen to them often. His innovative composition and arrangements are always a pick-me-up on a bad day. 


I’m pretty sure that Mr. Guaraldi wanted to play more than I did. It’s obvious that he lived and breathed music. Playing the piano delighted him, causing him a deep and peaceful pleasure.


If I had resolved to play, I believe I would probably still play today. Some determinations are within reach. 


Others, though, are not. 


If you are blind, for example, you can be very determined to see, but it may not be realistically within reach. 


Take Bartimaeus. He desperately wanted sight (Mark 10:46-48). Jesus Himself even asked him, “What do you want (literal Greek: resolve, determine or purpose) Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)


No amount of practice could have helped Bart see. He had to have spiritual help.


So I wonder, the things that we say we want:

are we really resolved to have them? 


Vince Guaraldi was determined to play the piano and so he practiced with passion.


What about things of the Spirit? How many of our prayers are we resolved to have? Or do we just rather hope they will happen? 


The blind man was resolved to have his sight and so he asked (and kept on asking!) (Mark 10:52)


What is something that you think God desires to happen that you have a resolve to pray for until it does


Other Posts on Persistence:

The Prayer of Preparation


Pride and Prayerjudice