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9 months ago

Hope In Times Of Trouble

12 6 Don’t Quit

12 6 Don’t Quit Earlier in the century, Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous composer-pianist, was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in America. Although it was a black tie event, complete with tuxedos and formal evening dresses, present in that high society event was a mother with her fidgety nine-yearold son. Weary of waiting, he squirmed constantly in his seat. The mother brought him in the hopes that her son would be encouraged to practice the piano if he could just hear the world renown genius at the keyboard. So, against her son’s wishes, she insisted he attend the concert. While she was preoccupied talking with friends, her son slipped away where he was drawn to the ebony concert grand Steinway, complete with its leather tufted stool on the huge stage floor. Without much notice from the audience, the boy sat down at the piano and began to play “chopsticks.” The roar of the crowd was hushed as hundreds of frowning faces pointed in his direction. Irritated and annoyed, they began to shout: “Get that boy away from there!” “Who brought that kid in here?” “Where are

13 his parents?” “Somebody stop him.” Backstage, Paderewski overheard the commotion and rushed toward the stage. Without one word of announcement, he stooped over behind the boy, reached around both sides, and began to improvise a countermelody to harmonize with and enhance “chopsticks.” As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ear: “Keep going. Don’t quit. Keep on playing… don’t stop… don’t quit!” That’s the way it is with us as we deal with disappointment and seek to generate hope. We need to hammer away on our projects, issues and crises, which may seem as insignificant as “chopsticks” in a great concert hall. Yet, just as we are tempted to give up, the Master comes at just the right time whispering: “Keep going… don’t quit!” And then, the Master is able to use what we are doing to improvise and create something new, something beautiful, something most unexpected but most delightful. * * * So, practice patience. Disappointments often come suddenly but recovering from them takes longer. We need to allow ourselves sufficient

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