Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Boo . . . Get off the Stage!!!

I have very mixed emotions about performing in public. I hate the feeling of anxiety, but yet, I love it at the same time. I took piano lessons as I was growing up and most of any performing I did was with a piano piece I had prepared. I remember the anxiety before coupled with the sick feeling in my gut, and the dread and fear of taking my turn on the stage. It was always a wonderful experience when my performance was admirable. But that was not always the case. Some performances went smoothly, and others a little more bumpy. I am sure we have all had experiences when we have failed. We were diligent in preparing; we ironed out the flaws, but still fell short.

More so than the successes we have; it is how we take the failures in life that shape us. It is easy to take the good things in life, but not so easy with the failures. It is mostly how we take the failures in our lives that define who we are. I remember one such failure of mine at a piano recital when I was in High School.

The piece I had was memorized; I had taken the time I felt I needed to prepare. I had not been working with the teacher I had very long at the time, and the setting was very new to me. There were many different teachers, each with a few of their students; a hodgepodge of performers. Like any recital, there was a set program, and each performer took turns coming up to perform their piece. When my turn arrived, I walked to the front, took my place and began the piece I prepared. After the first two chords I stopped . . . I could not remember what came next. Slightly embarrassed, I started again; but I still got no further. A third time yielded same result. I even tried guessing what the next notes would be, no such luck. I realized I had no idea how the piece I was trying to play was supposed to go. I stood up, bowed, and walked back to my seat. I remember my teacher sharing in my embarrassment, also very red in the face. My parents however were quite different. They were both shaking in their seats trying to suppress laughter. I cannot forget the sense of relief this brought me. It helped me to realize the humor of the situation and how there would be other opportunities to perform in the future. I had not lost anything.

I feel this was an opportunity for me to learn a little about taking a defeat graciously in life. A failure is an opportunity to try again, and get it right. I feel it is a blessing to be able to laugh at the mistakes we make in life. We all have many mistakes, and learning to press on is valuable to having a happy life. Not only with piano performances, but also in following the example of our Savior—something at which we all fail. As we have faith in Christ, we realize we can repent and continue to follow His example despite the mistakes we make. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” We are made new with every step of repentance we make, and we are again able to feel the blessings of His Spirit and peace in our lives. I know Christ lives, and I know He is there as our support and inspiration in life.

1 comment:

  1. Elder Spencer I think you have a great talent. I wish I could play the piano as well as you!!!


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