World-renowned pianist, Ignace Jan Paderewski, was waiting backstage prior to a concert one evening. Out in the audience, an eager crowd was gathering in anticipation of a marvelous evening of music. Among those present was a young boy whose mother had hope that the inspiration of a great performance might encourage the lad to persevere in his own piano lessons.
While the mother turned to visit with friends, the young boy grew restless. His attention was attracted by the beautiful ebony grand piano on the huge stage. Slipping away from his mother’s side, he climbed the steps to the floodlit stage and seated himself on the soft padded stool. His small hands poised for a single moment over the keys, and then he began playing–Chopsticks! At first, the crowd hushed. Then hundreds of frowning faces turned in his direction, and the irritated comments began. “Whose kid is that?” “What is he doing?” "Get that boy out of here!”
Paderewski, hearing the commotion, quickly assessed the situation. Rapidly donning his jacket, he hurried out onto the stage. Slipping up behind the boy on the piano bench, he put his arms on each side of the lad and began improvising a counter-melody. As he did so, he whispered in the boy’s ear, “Go ahead. You’re doing great. Keep it up! Don’t stop!” They went on playing together, finishing with a flourish–to the amazement of the audience.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the task that faces you? Do you ever feel like quitting and running from the stage? Do the derisive remarks of those around you confuse and dishearten you? Don’t stop! About the time you are ready to give up, the Master comes near and puts His arms around you. He whispers in your ear, “Go ahead. You’re doing great. Keep it up! Don’t stop!” He offers strength and encouragement at just the right moment. And you realize that, with Him at your side, you can make it through.
“If you finish, everyone will know you started.” – Jack Robbins
"Find Us Faithful" by Jon Mohr
We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road,
And those who’ve gone before us light the way,
Cheering on the faithful,
Encouraging the weary,
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace.
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
Let us run the race not only for the prize.
But as those who’ve gone before us,
Let us leave to those behind us
A heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives.
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind,
May the clues that they discover
And the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road
we each must ﬁnd.
Oh, may all who come behind us ﬁnd us faithful;
May the ﬁre of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we lived inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us ﬁnd us faithful.
Copyright 1987 Jonathan Mark Music and Birdwing Music
Take this week’s verse and place it in a prominent place where you will see it regularly during the week. Work on committing it to memory. Once you have it memorized, locate another with a similar theme and memorize it also.