On Friday afternoons I slip inside another world for approximately forty-five minutes. Where do I go? My weekly piano lesson; the land of musical notes, treble clefs, and crescendos. My piano book cover reads “Older Beginner” and that I am, older but more like a “beginner-again-er.” I took lessons years ago, however juggling family and work obligations forced me to move piano to the back-burner. It sat there for so long, it grew mold.
Glad to be back on the bench, I receive instruction from an excellent teacher, Julie Molfetas; a lovely woman, whose patience deserves the Congregational Medal of Honor. We work on an exercise known as “sight-reading” which is playing music you’ve never seen before.
Last week while sight-reading, I was fooled. As my eyes read the music, a different note created a new pattern, while my fingers still played the old one. An “unexpected note” the piano teacher called it. She explained at times we play rote and are fooled when the music throws in an unexpected note. It reminds me of life; how although we walk in a new pattern, we could walk the old one with our eyes closed.
After hearing this, it provoked deep thought, as I pondered the meaning of an unexpected note in a rote piece of music. The word “unexpected” continued to pop up in the next several days in various places in my travels. How interesting it would be for us to apply this to life.
What if we thought of faith as unexpected notes in the music of life. The Word tells us to walk by faith and not by sight, but also tells of a man who because he walked by faith, he received his sight:
And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road. Mark 10:52
In music when you play an incorrect note, your first instinct is to start again to get it right, but that’s wrong; you are to keep going, forget the incorrect note, and play on. These may be those unexpected notes, and whether you play them correctly or not, they still have purpose.
How wonderful it would be if we could allow ourselves to move on from our mistakes without wishing for do-overs. To realize though painful, these mistakes bear a purpose. There are no do-overs in a piano recital; no time for that. We need to grab hold of this truth, and live our lives in the same manner:
- Don’t dwell on all the wrong notes you’ve hit, there have been far more high ones
- Move forward when you make a mistake, and learn from it
- Trust God to direct your steps as you sight-read your way through life, knowing He wrote the music
- Walk by faith when unexpected notes play out; experiencing unexpected notes is far better than a rote life without music
Follow Jesus, the Master Conductor who orchestrates our life more beautifully than a symphony.
What unexpected notes have you experienced in your faith-walk lately?