Her fingers touch the ivory keys. She begins her song. Strength flows through the music. Confidence soars through each note. She smiles as she plays. The song is taking over. Faster and faster she plays. And then, a mistake. Small to the listeners sense of hearing, but devastating to the performer. She continues playing but the strength is gone. The confidence has dwindled. The piece has altogether lost its glory and grandeur. More mistakes follow. With each blow her shoulders slump a little more. She ends her piece distressed.
This was my observation of myself on all seven recorded takes of the Pirates of the Caribbean piece I was entering in a contest. It's a great song, fun to play, full of life, and varying in dynamics, tone and tempo. I had been working on it for quite some time when I heard about the competition. I decided to enter and needed a video recording of it. I was greatly blessed to have some friends with a good camera that offered to help. However, when it came time to record my brain just decided to set up a few blockades. Uncrossable blockades. I did get through the song several times, but I felt so frustrated that I just could not play the song well when I was being recorded. Sadly, this is a problem I have whenever I try to perform anything on the piano under pressure. I can have a song nailed and if I get up to play it in front of people I just lose it.
As I was getting frustrated over the whole matter, the Lord revealed to me that my life is often like those video recordings. I can start out on a spiritual high, serving the Lord, worshipping Him, loving Him with my all, and with one failure I give up. I lose it all. I don't trust His grace and forgiveness. Then I go through a slump. Usually, a long drawn out slump. When I made those mistakes on the piano, I remember feeling like they were just the worst mistakes ever. But when I watched the videos, they actually wouldn't have been a problem if I had just kept playing with full confidence. We all sin, we all fail, and we all make mistakes. The difference is there are those that try to live this life on their own and there are those that live this life in the full confidence of Christ their Savior. When we try to live this life on our own, one mistake is going to get us down because all it does is prove that we can't do it. However, when we live in the confidence of Christ, one mistake still shows us that we can't do it ourselves, but it also shows us how big God's mercy and grace are, because when we are willingly being molded in His hands, He gives us the strength to rise above that mistake. He makes glory out of ashes.
And so, I never was able to upload any of the recordings onto my computer and I ended up re-recording myself. I didn't have the beautiful grand piano, or the amazing quality sound, or the beautifully memorized piece. I played on my own piano, recorded with my moms camera, with the sheet music, *cringe* :-) but I felt a thousand times better. I still messed up, but I kept playing with confidence that God already knew how I was going to play and really, in light of eternity, this song didn't really matter. It was my attitude that mattered. And every time I watch that video I ask myself, "Is my confidence in Christ today?"
Now I am going to shamelessly ask for your votes. :-)
This is supposed to be the link for my song, but I have had a few people who said it didn't work and a few who said it did. But if you could give a try I would be very grateful. The competition runs through the 12th and you can vote everyday! Thanks in advance.