So Many Priorities


Our church will be hosting a singing the first Saturday night in June. It is the twentieth anniversary of the gospel group, Family Harmony. Because of the special occasion, we will be having a number of special guests in our service. At least three of those special guests are VERY accomplished pianists. These are the people who can sit down at a piano and play just about anything (with or without music). When compared to them, I feel like a four-year-old playing Chopsticks or the one-finger melody of Mary Had a Little Lamb.

I've had about six years of musical training on the piano. The problem is that during those six years, I had four different teachers. This is good for the sake of learning a variety of methods, but since each teacher had their own style, I was constantly starting over. Naturally, I am not comfortable playing in certain keys. In fact, I flat out can't play in certain keys because I never got that far in my lessons. I know what to do, but I've never practiced and become comfortable with those keys. When someone hands me a song in five flats, I just laugh and shake my head. I can't sit down and play a piece of music if I've never heard it. I depend too much on my ear, and I'm terrible with timing. I've learned enough to get by as a pianist, but that's about all, which is where the following comes in.

Jason and I were discussing the singing, and I made the comment, "I just hope they don't want me to play the piano at any time during that singing. With all the accomplished pianists there, there's no reason for me to get up there and make a fool of myself." Please know that I'm not putting myself down or throwing myself a pity party. I just know what I can and can't do on the piano. As I told Jason that night, I want to do more. I want to practice more. I want to become comfortable with those difficult keys. I want to continue by piano training. I want to do a lot of things, but I just don't have the time. To this Jason replied, "You can only have so many priorities."

I think that's the same thing God was saying when He said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. In reference to my life, I believe God is saying, "Dana, you can't do it all. You can't focus on me and on writing and on playing the piano and on keeping house and on teaching in the college and . . . You simply can't have that many priorities. There isn't time or energy. But (I just love that word), if you'll make me your first priority, I'll see that everything else falls into place. No, you may not be the world's greatest writer, pianist, or housekeeper, but you will be what I want you to be, and that's all that matters."