I enjoy playing the piano. To challenge myself on the keyboard, I committed to learning “Prelude in G Minor,” by Rachmaninoff. For my level of expertise, it’s a difficult piece, with massive chords, and fast-moving passages of melody that tax my skills to the maximum. But I’ve eagerly embraced the challenge of playing a high-quality piece of music today like I used to play in my college days decades ago.
A few weeks ago, though, the ends of my fingers started to ache. It became painful to practice this piece, for several of my fingers were crying out in pain when pressing on the keys.
This is odd! I thought. I’ve been practicing this piece for over 3 years. Why would my fingers start aching now? I protested.
The metaphysics of Christian Science teaches that physical pain has roots in thought. Often, a fear of some type is associated with it.
As I prayed for relief, I realized I was entertaining fears about learning this piece of music. “It was too hard!” A voice hollered at me from within. “I should give up. The piece is beyond my skill level.” This same negative voice argued.
I had invested three years of practice into this piece, and I wasn’t willing to throw it all away. I was going to continue, I was certain. But I realized that these fears and doubts in thought were likely the pain I was feeling in my fingers.
To be healed, I remembered that “With God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). The ability to play this piece comes from God, not from my fingers, and my fingers couldn’t get in the way of me expressing God. My fingers were servants, not bosses or complainers, I decided. They could quietly serve their purpose without complaint, and I could learn this piece as I listened and trusted God’s wise direction.
I found peace with these spiritual truths and continued to practice the best I could.
A few days later, I realized all the pain had vanished, and I was playing the piece better than ever. I was happy and grateful!
I still have much to learn with this piece of music, but I will master it. And my fingers are happy participants once again!