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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Appreciation = Priceless

Appreciation - Priceless

What's on my mind today? Well... lots of stuff really, but if I shared everything you would certainly lock me up and throw away the key (not because it's illegal, but because the inner workings of ones mind can be a scary place and you might label me insane). So - what can I share today? I guess I'll share something that was said to me this morning:

Many of you know that I'm a church musician/organist and if you didn't, now you know! It's not that it's a bad gig at all, in fact I love it! The problem is that most people don't ask and may never know what goes into being a church musician. Most of us took more than ten years of lessons meaning weekly sessions with an instructor or a nun and then daily practicing at home (twice daily if our parents insisted), and now we spend hours each week carefully choosing our music, practicing our foot pedals, left hand, right hand, everything together, etc... and then, comes the big moment when we are ready to play it for all to hear. Playing the right notes is part of the battle, but keeping everyone happy is even more difficult. We often hear:
-could you play faster?
-that seemed a little too fast, can you slow down.
-the organ sounded a little loud today, is everything working okay?
-I didn't recognize that hymn, I wish you would have played more melody.

Then there's the fear of coming in too early, too late, or not at all ... playing the wrong tune for the season (ie: our books are marked with notes saying 'do this during lent but not during advent' and 'play this for this pastor, and not for that pastor', etc...).

Now, I have also moved onto the season of life where I have small children. I practice and fret about the organ playing, the timing, the season, the songs, and all of that ... and then, I worry about where the children will be during service, who is going to watch them, should they be there at all, and then I wonder if it's all worth it. I think about hanging up my organ shoes until the children are older, in exchange for a relaxing Sunday morning in the pew. Right now, Lent is just ending and it's nearly Easter. This means I've been playing mid-week services in addition to Sunday services, and the next few days hold Maunday-Thursday Service, Good Friday Service, Special Easter Music, and oh yes ... I suppose I need to figure out how the Easter bunny plays into all this so that my children aren't disappointed - and of course, there's Easter Breakfast to plan, lunch with the inlaws, and possibly som

e sleep at some point.

Now - you have a glimpse into the life of  church organist. So - what happened this morning that caused me to title today's post Appreciation - Priceless ?????? Let me tell you:

A gentleman from my church came up to me at about 9 o clock this morning and simply said:

"Did anyone mention what a great job you did playing on Sunday? It sounded great!"

15 little words and they made all the difference in the world. I guess that hanging up those organ shoes would be silly and now I feel pretty great about those years of lessons, countless hours of preparation and practice, and accidental boos boos that I make from time to time don't seem quite so meaningful.

My take away is that you can really make or break someone by either appreciating them or choosing not to. I am going to choose to be more appreciative, how about you?

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and appreciation!

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