The Pianist
Steven P. Wickstrom

The story is told of the great classic pianist and composer Ignace Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) who began his piano lessons at the age of six. It is said that when he was 12, he entered the Warsaw Conservatory and six years later at the age of 18, was appointed a professor there. He was a consummate master of the piano and had a brilliant career as a concert pianist, playing to enthusiastic audiences all over Europe and America.

As the fictional story goes, he was preparing to give a concert one evening when a group of admirers came to the concert hall. One of those was a mother with her young son who was quite reluctantly taking piano lessons. She thought that by bringing him to hear the great Paderewski he would gain a renewed interest in the piano.

The young mother turned to her friends and was engaging in a conversation while the young boy was getting bored. The little boy left his seat and wandered away. Seeing a door marked “No Admittance” he promptly went right through. He found himself on a stage with a piano in the center. His attention was drawn to the beautiful ebony grand piano with its glistening white ivory keys.

Suddenly the curtains parted and a spotlight lit the grand piano. The mother returned to her seat only to find that her son was missing. Then to her horror she spotted him on stage sitting on the piano stool reaching for the ivory piano keys. He started playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Paderewsky quickly strode up behind the boy on the piano bench, sat down beside him and put his arms around the boy and began playing a counter medley as he whispered in the lad's ear, “Go ahead, keep playing, you're doing great. That's it, keep it up. You're okay, don't listen to the noise or the audience. Come on keep going.” The audience was mesmerized as the master played alongside the novice. When they finished, the audience exploded in applause.

Even though that story is pure fiction and never happened; there are some lessons that we can learn from it. A lot of what we do for the Lord in our own strength is a lot like playing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in a concert hall all by ourselves. If we are to accomplish anything worth while for Him it is going to have to be with Him. As we play on the piano of life we desperately need His wisdom, strength, and power. All the time that we are playing our tune, the Lord, the Master Pianist, comes along and leans over and whispers in our ear, “Go ahead, keep playing, you're doing great. That's it, keep it up. You're okay, don't listen to the noise or the audience. Come on keep going.” And in that moment He gives us Himself.

Step up to the piano of life and play whatever tune you know. God will sit down beside you and turn your music into something beautiful that will bring glory to Him. It is only together with God that beautiful music is created. Don't worry if you think that you have no talent, it is God's talent that people will see and hear. Together with God, we can play a concert that will bring many people to the Lord.

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© 2003 by Steven P. Wickstrom All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.