Paderewski, the famous composer-pianist, was scheduled to perform at a concert hall in America. It was an evening to remember—black tuxedoes and long evening dresses, a high society extravaganza.
Present in the audience that evening was a mother with her 9-year-old son. She hoped that her boy would be encouraged to practice the piano if he could just hear the immortal Paderewski at the keyboard. So he was there, against his wishes. Weary of waiting, he fidgeted and squirmed in his seat.
As she turned to talk with friends, her son could stay seated no longer. He slipped away from her side, strangely drawn to the ebony concert grand Steinway and its leather tufted stool, staring wide-eyed at the black and white keys.
He placed his small trebling 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!”
“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 boy, reached around both sides, and began to improvise a counter melody to harmonize and enhance “chopsticks.”
As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ear:
“Keep going, don’t quit son. Keep on playing... don’t stop....don’t quit.”
So it is with us. We hammer away on our project, which seems about as significant as “chopsticks’ in a concert hall. And about the time we are ready to give up, along comes the Master, who leans over and says,
“Now keep going; don’t quit. Keep on . . . don’t stop, don’t quit.”
Adapted from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life by Chuck Swindoll.
Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.