Don't Stop—Don't Quit
This devotional was written by Jim Burns
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. —1 Corinthians 1:8-9
Today's story is for those who, like myself, at times get discouraged with their progress in their spiritual life. Don't stop; don't quit. God will help you through the power of his Holy Spirit.
A story is told about a famous composer-pianist who was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in America. It was an evening to remember—black tuxedos and long evening dresses, a high society extravaganza. Present in the audience that evening was a mother with her fidgety nine-year-old son. Weary of waiting, the little boy squirmed in his seat. His mother was hoping that her boy would be encouraged to practice the piano if he could just hear the immortal pianist at the keyboard. So, against the little boy's wishes, he had come.
As the mother turned to talk with friends, her son decided that he could stay seated no longer. He slipped away from her side, strangely drawn to the ebony concert grand Steinway and its leather tufted stool on the huge stage flooded with blinding lights. Without much notice from the sophisticated audience, the boy sat down at the stool, staring wide-eyed at the black and white keys. He placed his small, trembling fingers in the right location and began to play "Chopsticks." The roar of the crowd was hushed as hundreds of frowning faces turned in his direction. Irritated and embarrassed, they began to shout: "Get that boy away from there!" "Who'd bring a kid that young in here?" "Where's his mother?" "Somebody stop him!"
Backstage, the master overheard the sounds out front and quickly put together in his mind what was happening. Hurriedly, he grabbed his coat and rushed toward the stage. Without one word of announcement he stooped over behind the stool, reached around the boy, and began to improvise a countermelody to harmonize with and enhance the boy’s rendition of "Chopsticks." As the two of them played together, the famous pianist kept whispering in the boy's ear "Keep going. Don't quit, son. Keep playing. Don't stop... don't quit."*
God is the maestro who improvises a countermelody, and enhances our efforts. Like the master pianist, He whispers in our ear. "Don't stop.... Don't give up." He recognizes and encourages us to continue, even when our efforts appear small—especially in the eyes of others (or how we think others see our efforts).
1. Have you ever felt like giving up? How does this story inspire you to keep on going?
* This story has been widely told about the famous pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski and can be found on many Internet sites. However, truthorfiction.com has challenged its authenticity. Whether truth or fiction, for the purpose of this reading, the point is a good one.