A Musical Disaster

Everything was going wrong.

I was part of a recent workshop for the pianists in my church. My assignment was simple. I just had to play a hymn, everyone would sing along, and then discuss the song together. I mean, I played the piano for worship at VOICE for years. I wrote musicals. I would of course come up with something profound for the other pianists to learn from.

But it was absolutely awful.

I sat down at the piano, and I suddenly felt my vision narrowing. I couldn’t think. I didn’t know what my fingers were doing. My rhythm was nonexistent. My introduction didn’t make any sense. I played way too fast.

I was so embarrassed.

I began to analyze my failure. I thought back to my first ever recital when I was seven years old. That was also a flop–I completely forgot my memorized piece, and I burst into tears while on stage. Was I forever doomed to bad nerves? I didn’t think I was nervous, I was confident in my abilities. So what happened?

Simple. I was focused on myself.

I wasn’t focused on learning how to better worship the Lord, I was focused on showing my own skills. I wanted everyone to see how special I was, surprise them with my musical genius. Deep down inside, I was also afraid of ruining my reputation as a pianist in front of all the other pianists in the church.

If I really believed that God was real, then should I be making music for my own glory or for His?

The right answer is pretty obvious, and yet this is a lesson I still struggle with. So often I am more concerned about what others think, forgetting what really matters to God.

Lord, please do not let me use my talents for myself, but to serve you, and to bring all honor to you.

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