Sermon Illustrations

Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous pianist, was scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in America. It was a high-society extravaganza. Present in the audience that evening was a mother and her fidgety nine-year old. She had brought him in the hopes that when he heard the great composer play, he would be encouraged to practice.

As the mother turned to talk with some friends, he slipped away and was strangely drawn to the grand Steinway piano on the platform. Staring wide-eyed at the keys the boy sat on the stool; placed his small fingers on the keys and began to play “Chopsticks.” The roar of the crowd came to a hush as frowning faces pointed in his direction. Someone began to shout, “Get that boy away from there!” “Where is his mother?” Somebody get that kid.”

Backstage the master composer overheard the sounds out front. He quickly realized what was happening and hurried toward the stage. Without one word of announcement, he stooped over behind the boy, reached around on both sides, and began to improvise a countermelody to harmonize with and enhance “Chopsticks.” As they played together, the composer kept whispering in the boy’s ear, “Keep going; don’t quit. Keep playing; don’t stop. Don’t quit….”

It is the same for us as we work for the Lord. Our playing of “Chopsticks” may not be impressing anyone. But about the time we’re ready to give up, we hear the Master say, “Keep going; don’t stop; don’t give up.”

And this is what the Lord is saying to us this morning. “Don’t give up. It doesn’t matter what others think about what you’re doing. Do it with all your heart unto Me and I’ll help you.”

Disappointments can turn into victories when the Master steps in and begins to play the countermelody.

From: Charles Swindoll, “Don’t Quit,” Stories for the Heart compiled by Alice Gray (Sisters Oregon: Multnomah Books, 1996) p. 39-40.

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