I guess it is time for a confession…and the accompanying challenge…
The confession… I sat down at the piano last week for the first time in twenty-three years. I adjusted the stool, placed my fingers above the keys in middle C position, and attempted to play a scale. One hand was doable—not particularly musical, but doable. Two hands in either simultaneous or opposite directions… well… sloppy at best. I opened several old books to reacquaint my fingers with the notes of Bach, Chopin, Gillock and Clementi. To put it simply, they were all train wrecks. Trying not to take myself too seriously, I blundered through the first few measures of several pieces, laughed at my present skill level, and left the keyboard… until the next day… and the next…
The challenge… My birthday gift to myself was permission to reacquaint myself with the piano. Yes, there are the regrets of years gone by—years I could have spent practicing and playing and improving. Years that allowed past progress to slowly fade away. There is inevitable awkwardness. My fingers do not find keys accurately or in good time. Notes are not played with clarity or consistency. Melodies do not quite sound like melodies yet. (The awkwardness does not bother me at home, but I’ve been playing in the Sanctuary too. When someone else ‘hears or sees’ your awkwardness, it is elevated to stymying degrees! I just laugh!)
I’m wondering… from what have you stepped away? Have you ever wanted to reclaim it? Have you avoided reengagement because of time or regret or awkwardness? I often hear people say, “I used to attend church, Sunday School, MidWeek service, but….” (You can fill in the blank: Life got too busy. Someone offended them. It began to feel irrelevant.) These same people often express a desire to reconnect to their faith. I understand that. I’ve been strangely drawn back to the piano… and it’s not near as embedded as my faith. Today is a great time to wander back into the church. Most services and classes are held online. When we do gather again, everyone will in essence be ‘coming back.’ I would suggest you lay down the regret, laugh at the awkwardness, and start again. I’m having a great time. You will, too.

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