Don’t Quit – Keep Playing!
Frankly Speaking by Frank Jordan
At a banquet in which I was Master of Ceremonies, the Honorable Willie E. B. Blackmon, spoke of what he considers a miracle in his life – total recovery from M.D. Anderson diagnosed stage 4 terminal multiple Myeloma cancer. Testing demonstrated no residual and an active life has resulted. Faith and prayer from friends and family were given credit by Mr. Blackmon, together with medical treatments. However, it should be noted the physicians had no hope that standard procedures of man such as chemo and radiation would be life saving and the doctors had no medical explanation for his full recovery.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the certainty of things not seen. When health issues confront us or those we love, our faith is tested and often we blame and ask “why?” rather than accepting that faith does not promise us an easy trip but does assure us of a safe landing! Keep hope and know you are not alone. Associate with those of similar challenges and be positive in fighting your personal battles. When you hurt and there seems to be no relief, words sound hollow and encouragement meaningless. But do not give up.
I once interviewed an amazing lady named Fran Di Giacomo on TV on her 60th birthday celebrating cancer survival, after none of her sisters had lived past 40. This was a tough lady who had survived multiple surgeries while living a disciplined life in diet, exercise and supplementation with prayer. When asked if cancer colored her life; she replied, “Yes, but I get to choose the color!” She is still very active as an internationally acclaimed artist who tells all who will listen that we must choose laughter over tears in life with health challenges a part of life – not the negative focus of life.
A story involving the great pianist Paderewski beautifully illustrates the point. When the house lights dimmed and his concert was about to begin, a mother returned to her seat and discovered her young child was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and the panicked mother saw her little boy sitting at the grand piano keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star!”
At that moment, the great pianist made his entrance, quickly moving to the piano and whispering in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit.” “Keep playing.” Then, leaning over the boy, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. His right arm then reached around to the other side of the child, and he added an amazing running obbligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn’t recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” with the small boy!
That’s the way it often is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results in life aren’t always melodious music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life’s work can truly be harmonious and beautiful, even though our personal abilities may be limited.
Frankly speaking, the next time you are unable to succeed in a quest alone; listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit.” “Keep playing!” May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your limited human attempts into true masterpieces, often including those involving health.