I had a piano recital last Saturday, and I royally screwed up. Okay, maybe not royally. Let’s just say, I wasn’t completely happy with how I played. My piece was a fifteen minute Beethoven sonata played from memory, which allows a lot of room for mistakes to be made. Anyways, I spent the next several days sulking. I didn’t feel good about the performance, and in turn, I didn’t feel good about myself. I’ve always known that I don’t play half as well as I usually can at recitals- it’s just something about all those people.
Directly after the recital, I went home and straight upstairs into my room, where I remained, wallowing in self-pity. I’ve always placed a lot of stock into playing the piano, and when my performances don’t go as I’d like, it crushes my soul a little bit. I end up telling myself that I’m just horrible at the piano, and everything, really. Then today happened.
I went to see my best friend Lena for the first time in a year. If you haven’t been following my blog for a while and don’t know about Lena, she was diagnosed with encephalitis a couple of years ago. It left her brain so atrophied that she can’t talk, or swallow, or move really. And since she lives kind of far away, I haven’t been to visit her. Which is horrible, I know. Knee surgery and other things happened, which got in the way. But I shouldn’t be making excuses.
Anyways, something Lena and I always used to do together was play our ukuleles. When she was in her rehab center, I used to bring my uke and play for her, but I didn’t know a whole lot of songs. Now she’s back at her house, where there’s a piano, and I thought that the best way I could bless her would be to play for her.
So I did. I played some Chopin Nocturnes, and I played my Beethoven sonata. Yes, the same one that I royally screwed up last week (it was much better since I actually had the music in front of me, and I was just playing for a close friend and her parents). Lena was attentive and looking at me- something which doesn’t happen a whole lot. I could tell that she really enjoyed my music, even if she couldn’t say so.
And it made me realize- God always has a way for us to utilize the talents He’s given us- even if it’s not in the capacity we might have thought originally. I’m never going to be a performing pianist- it’s not for me. But God gave me my musical talents for a reason, and even if they’re only there to bless my dear friend Lena, that’s more than enough.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:10-11