Sunday, September 15, 2013

Don't Rush

 I find God never guides us into an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness.
                                                                                              --Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion.

I don't believe my piano teacher ever read Thomas Kelly, but she certainly believed these words. "Don't rush" wasn't just instruction for how to play piano well. She did not rush her life. She always had time for music, for prayer, for people--piano students, college students, her children and later grandchildren.

Recently another dear friend and mentor to my husband died. Someone shared this in the tributes, a quote from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, about what it means to be a holy person:

Their very voices and faces are different from ours: stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other men do, but they need you less…..They will usually seem to have a lot of time: you will wonder where it comes from… I strongly suspect (but how should I know?) that they recognise one another immediately and infallibly, across every barrier of colour, sex, class, age, and even of creeds. In that way, to become holy is rather like joining a secret society. To put it at its very lowest, it must be great fun.

"They will usually seem to have a lot of time." Of course. If we believe we will live for eternity, why on earth do we get in a rush?

Whether playing piano or listening to people or planning and executing the day, I think "Don't rush" is excellent wisdom for both holiness and happiness.


Sheila said...

Yikes! I just realized that I wrote "executing the day." What a terrible phrase. Who wants to execute a day? Must have been a subconscious response to the idea of what rushing does to our perception of time and life.

Amy Jo Underwood said...

Lovely post.
(And I have the same marking in much of my music as well. :-) )

Sheila said...

I imagine very few musicians do not get this advice fairly often! Thank goodness for metronomes!