In his book, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, Charles Swindoll tells of a mother who took her figedty nine-year-old son to a performance by the famous composer-pianist, Ignacy Jan Paderewski.
Before the performance began, the mother became engrossed in conversation with a neighbor; her son, who quickly became bored, was intrigued by the shiny black-and-white keys of the beautiful grand piano. Without his mother’s noticing, the boy stole up to the stage, ran his hand across the smooth keys, and began playing the tune he knew best: chopsticks.
A hush fell over the audience. As soon as they realized what had happened, however, they began yelling and protesting: Why was a child on stage? Where were his parents? Why had anyone even brought a child to such an event?
Back-stage, Paderewski heard the noise and quickly realized what was happening. With no introduction, he walked on stage, and, stooping over the boy, improvised an accompaniment to the boy’s playing, whispering in boy’s ear, “Keep going, don’t quit, son, keep on playing.”
Often it seems that our work is insignificant, the futile banging of a worn-out tune in a setting much too grand for us. But with a little help, a little encouragement, it will become so much more, if only we keep going, don’t quit, and keep on playing.
Cheers to making it through the rest of the semester!