Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.
Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."
When the houselights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part.
Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a potentially frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was absolutely mesmerized.
Whatever our situation in life and histories, however outrageous, however desperate, whatever dry spell of the spirit, whatever dark night of the soul, God is whispering deep within our beings,
"Don't quit. Keep playing. You're not alone; together We will transform the broken patterns into a masterwork of Our creative art. Together, We will mesmerize the world with Our song of peace."
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning...to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth... and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own; the cards...the house...the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard... are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left. (You could be at "dash mid-range.") If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile... remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy's being read with your life's actions to rehash... will you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash? To the world you may be one person But to one person you may be the world!