The year was 1970. I’ll never forget that particular spring recital. It was warm and muggy (and a bit smelly) in the old high school auditorium. There were about fifty of us in Ms. Hester’s class, and the recital seemed to last FOR-EVER. I was bored out of my gourd.
About three-quarters into the event, a little boy, maybe ten years old, sat down at the piano and began to play with tremendous energy and passion. I was in awe. I didn’t know this kid, but I certainly looked forward to congratulating him for a fine performance over cookies and punch.
But then, all of a sudden, he just stopped playing. Right in the middle of a measure, he stopped and put his hands in his lap. After what seemed like an eternity (but in reality was probably thirty seconds), he reached up for his sheet music and turned it 180 degrees. His music was upside down. Well, the audience roared with laughter—as did he. I realized that day that mistakes happen, and it is our attitude and the attitude of others that will help us move beyond our errors.
You cannot learn to play the piano if you’re afraid of failure. You will hit wrong notes. Learning a new piece of music takes time, patience, practice, discipline, and determination. The same is true of playing life. We all make mistakes . . . . My mistakes are usually huge, and I call them sins. So how do I right them?
Most religions have a moral code; some actually agree that when you die, sin will separate you from God (heaven). Well, if that’s the case, I’m in big trouble. I try hard to be saintly, but sometimes I’m just bad to the bone.
In the Christian faith, we believe that, because of Jesus, our sins can be forgiven and we can spend eternity with God—even though not one of us is perfect. Now this I can handle. A forgiveness that doesn’t depend on my ability to try harder, but forgiveness that given because of my flaws. I just love this thing called grace.
Ellen Miller is the author of Truth Nuggets, a biweekly devotional emailed to a worldwide audience of thousands. A former corporate officer for a Fortune 500 company, she currently serves as the found and visionary for a technology marketing firm. She and her husband, Steve, live in Dallas and have two grown children.
Taken from The One Year Book of Inspirations for Girlfriends by Ellen Miller copyright © 2009. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.