Day by Day with Charles swindoll, 365 daily devotions
In our culture today anything, even news about God, can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap.
There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christians called holiness.
Our generation toys dangerously with an I’m-getting-tired-so-let’s-just-quit mentality. And this is not limited to the spiritual realm. Dieting is a daily discipline, so we stay fat. Finishing school is an everyday thing, so we bail out.
Cultivating a close relationship is painful, so we back off. Working through conflicts in a marriage is a tiring struggle day by day, so we walk away. Sticking with an occupation is tough on given days, so we change jobs. The let’s-just-quit mentality is upon us.
Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous Polish pianist and statesman, was once scheduled to perform at a great concert hall in America. It was a black-tie affair—a high society extravaganza.
Present in the audience that evening was a woman who had brought her nine-year-old son, hoping that he would be encouraged to practice the piano if he could just hear the great Paderewski at the keyboard. Weary of waiting for the concert to begin, and being there against his wishes anyway, the lad squirmed restlessly in his seat.
Then, as his mother turned to talk with friends, the boy slipped out of his seat and down the aisle, strangely drawn by the ebony concert grand sitting majestic and alone at the center of the huge stage. He sat down on the tufted leather stool, placed his small hands on the black-and-white keys, and began to play “Chop Sticks.”
Suddenly the crowd hushed, and hundreds of frowning faces turned in his direction. Irritated and embarrassed, some began to shout, “Hey, get that boy away from there!” “Where’s his mother?” “Somebody stop him!”
Backstage, Paderewski heard the uproar and the sound of the simple tune. When he saw what was happening, he hurried onto the stage. Without a word to the audience, he walked up behind the lad, reached his arms around either side of him, and began to improvise a countermelody.
As the two made music together, the master pianist kept whispering in the boy’s ear, “Keep going. Don’t quit, son. Keep on playing . . . don’t stop . . . don’t quit.”
So it is with us. We hammer away at life day by day, and sometimes it seems about as significant as “Chop Sticks.” Then, about the time we are ready to give up, along comes the Master, who leans over and whispers, “Don’t quit. Keep going,” as He provides His divine countermelody of grace, love, and joy at just the right moment.
Are you one of those weary pilgrims? Is the road getting long? Is hope wearing a little thin?
Don’t quit. Keep on . . . day by day. Finish the course.
Are you discouraged? Do you wonder if you’ll ever get this parenting business right? Will your hopes and dreams ever be realized? Does it seem too long a wait?
Don’t give up . . . at least not today.
Just keep listening to the good news of the Master day by day, and joy and holiness will be yours until the day Jesus comes to take you home.