Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Organist

I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is a church that is run entirely by volunteers.  There are no paid ministers to run the everyday workings of our congregation.  This means members are asked to participate and help out. Over the years I have helped in many different ways.  My volunteer time for the church is a way of life and a large part of life that I enjoy.  I am happy to serve wherever I can.  Sometimes a job is something I am familiar and comfortable with, and other times it is a struggle to learn my role and duties and to perform them well. It's never perfect but always an adventure.
Recently my "calling" (job assignment) changed.  I was asked to play the organ for Sacrament Meeting. Some would think this is no big deal but here is the catch.  I don't know how to play the organ!  What are all those buttons for?   I have two left feet, am I supposed to use those feet on giant pedals to make music?  I am good at playing the piano but the organ has different techniques.  (Think skiing and snow boarding.  They both have the same principle, to get you down a snow covered mountain, but they use very different techniques to get there.)
I have experienced challenges before in a new calling and I have a testimony that when I put effort into it and do my best then the Lord helps me accomplish what needs to be done.  Prayer, lots of prayer is usually the key.  I knew the same would be true for playing the organ.  I got a key to the church and started going to the chapel to play most everyday.  There has been a lot of experimentation with the sound and it is becoming fun. It has been 6 months now and I am getting better.  I wouldn't say that I was good, just better.   Some of what I fear as the organist is that my mistakes will be a distraction from the spirit and if I am going to be completely honest, I fear making a mistake in front of all those people.  I have had to swallow my pride, grow up a little and just deal with it.  Interestingly enough I have found that when I make a mistake the congregation just keeps singing and most of them don't even notice.  I am a lot harder on myself than anyone there would ever dream of being.
A couple of weeks ago a family in the ward was looking to get rid of an organ they had in their home and offered to give it to me.  Wow!  This has made practice time a lot easier and I am grateful for the gift.

Isn't it pretty?

It is a top of the line organ from the late 1960's- early 1970's so the technology is really charming.

Thank you Cindy and Ken.  It has made my practice time scheduling much easier.  
Hopefully one day I will become an accomplished organist.

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