Never Give Up

Sometimes our dreams are squashed by people telling us that we will never achieve them. They say things like: “You should wake up and realize your limitations.” “You are not smart enough.” “You are bothering people and you should stay in your social or economic class.” I share these thoughts with you as an introduction to a true story written by Evangelist Charles Swindoll.

“Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous composer-pianist was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in 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, he squirmed constantly in his seat. His mother was in hopes that her son would be encouraged to practice the piano if he could just hear the immortal Paderewski at the keyboard. So, even though he didn’t want to go, she made him.

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 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 pointed in his direction. Irritated and embarrassed, they began to shout: “Get that boy away from there!” “Who’d bring a kid that young 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 boy, reached around both sides, and began to improvise a counter melody to harmonize with and enhance “Chopsticks.”

As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ear:

“Keep going. Don’t quit. Keep on playing….don’t stop….don’t quit.”

There is a message in that story for all of us. No matter how ridiculous our dreams may seem to other people, no matter how overwhelming they may seem at times, the Master (Jesus) keeps saying: “Don’t quit, don’t give up!”

We would be very wise to begin each day by saying: “With God on my side, I can handle whatever this day brings.”

Until next time, God bless you and remember: “TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD.”