My parents acquired an old ‘honky tonk’ piano for me when I was in junior school.
The piano belonged to an old lady and sounded like it hadn’t been tuned for many a year.
I wasn’t very good at most things at school, but the piano became my passion.
I would come home from school and start to memorise and play by ear, the old songs and hymns that were sung in the school assembly.
My Mom and Dad then decided that I should develop my new-found talent further, by paying for me to have piano lessons from a lady that lived just a few doors away.
From the age of ten, I would walk to her house and learn the more intricate stuff, right up until I was around seventeen.
One of the most basic things about the piano is the note called ‘the middle C.’
Just like it suggests, ‘the middle C’ is right in the middle of the 88 keys on a full-size piano.
When I first sat at that old piano, I couldn’t help but think about how long it would take a person to remember 88 different keys.
Now… you probably know this, but you don’t have to know 88 keys, as there are only 7 different white notes, plus 5 different black notes.
Once you had learnt the notes that made up an octave, all you had to do was repeat the same notes, higher up or lower down from the middle C.
All these years later, I can’t help but think about how much those octaves are a lot like our development in areas of our lives.
Once you’ve learnt some of the most basic stuff, you don’t have to keep re-learning the same stuff, but rather, you simply have to practice it at a higher level.
I’d been speaking in our Church for many years before we opened the new auditorium, seating over 800 people. I quickly realised that all the stuff I had learned about communicating from those previous 20 years had to now rise to a totally different level.
In effect, I was doing what I’d always done, but this time around it was much higher up the keyboard.
Maybe today you’re really scared about going up a key or two in what you do, thinking that it’s going to require you to learn a whole new lot of notes.
No, your past is never wasted, but now it’s time to take what you’ve learnt and apply it to doing greater things at a higher level.
I sat at a pipe organ at 13 years of age and was told by the old man that was about to teach me, that I was now going to have to play with not just my 2 hands, but that it was going to involve my 2 feet, as well (on the pedals, that is)…
I was relieved to learn once again, that though it was a new set of skills that the eyes couldn’t see, it was however, exactly the same set of notes that I learnt from day one.
My dream one day would be to play the organ at the Royal Albert Hall… albeit with no-one there!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…’
A daily devotion for a better way of living.