Monday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a piano recital at which my young nephew performed. The piano students came from a wide variety of backgrounds: homeschooled, public school, private school, rural, urban, tiny tots, high school aged, financially strained, financially privileged, etc.
The recital was a necessary element in each student’s progression toward the next level of learning. They had to earn so many points before moving on, and the recital was worth X number of points. The students were not graded on their performances at the recital—that was reserved for another time. Simply showing up and playing before the audience was what was required.
The auditorium was large and modern. The stage was high. The lights were low, except for the spotlight on the piano. The interactive audience was polite and applauded at each appropriate moment.
The youngest and least experienced students performed first. The older, more experienced and more skilled students were reserved for later in the program. As I watched the students perform, one by one, I began to notice something extraordinary.
Each student, from first to last, sought to please only the teacher. Yes, the parents, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas were in the audience; however, each student eagerly sought the teacher’s face for approval or displeasure at the performance. The teacher remained slightly out of the spotlight in the shadows, but near enough to the piano for the students to hear encouragement, correction, or instruction.
This really touched me and brought home a beautiful lesson on how Father God instructs, teaches, admonishes, corrects, and encourages each of us. He often does remain in the shadows. In fact, He stays out of sight so much that some doubt His very existence: however, those of us who have felt and heard His guiding hand know that our Teacher is there—all the time—and it is He whom we should strive to please—not so much the others watching our lives—although they are important, too. But, it is to His standards that we must perform. The others applaud or approve (or maybe they disapprove). But, it is He who grades and allows us to move on to the next thing He has for us.
At the recital, the students were not in fear of not performing well because they might not receive a good grade—remember, no grades were given at the recital. However, each student eagerly wanted to please the teacher—and that is what it is all about.