I’m a piano teacher. Every Monday evening I am blessed with amazing children who warm my piano bench and my heart at the same time.
But my most challenging student doesn’t come to the bench on Monday nights. He comes whenever I think to call him between cooking dinner and carpool duty and folding laundry. He’s the one who lives here.
Now, he’s not challenging as a music student. He’s quite gifted, actually. He learns incredibly easily and matches his rhythm to the metronome almost intuitively. But with every new song, concept, or difficult measure, he groans, throws his hands up off the keys, and says, “It’s too hard!“
I’ve learned to just sit quietly when he does this, because his inner draw to the music usually pulls him back and he tries again and again until he gets it. But today, I was feeling more like a mother and less like a sweet piano teacher with endless patience. It irked me that he wasn’t even trying to understand the new music symbol I had just explained and pointed to in his music. It irritated me when he said, “It’s too complicated! I can’t do it!”
In exasperated tones, I said, “It’s a rest! You’re not supposed to do anything! And that’s too complicated for you??” As my words hung in the air, we both heard the humor in them, and began giggling.
Sometimes doing nothing is difficult, is it not? I want to fix the problem, or win the person over to my perspective, or come up with a solution or resolution or answer. But then, I get overwhelmed with the burdens I’ve piled onto my shoulders and I cry out, “It’s too complicated! I can’t do it!”
God isn’t the type of parent who gets exasperated, though. He tells me to be still and know that he is God. To rest and know that he is working all things together for my good. To let him rule the raging sea and rescue me from troubled waters. For into every life story that sings of his great name, there are ‘rests’ interwoven by the Composer, which make the melody sweeter.