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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

1-26-10 "Sometimes it can be HARD-- that's good



   A couple weeks ago, I was browsing through one of my favorite bookstores with, happily, $20 to spend. I don’t know about you, but it takes me forever to decide with books to purchase. My mom found me after we had been there for about a half hour and was surprised to see me with about $80 worth of hardback books stacked in my arms. I was having a very hard time deciding which of the several books I chose, including The Last Mohican, Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, Two Histories of England (Dickens and Austin- yum!) The Count of Monte Cristo, and a few others. 

      My personal opinion on books is that classics cannot be beat and the older the publication date, the better! That’s part of the reason that I avoid the “teen lit” section. The other part of the reason that I avoid the said category is because I am thoroughly disgusted with the cruddy books offered there. Nearly every book is written well below a high school reading level and contains a weak romance, a gory murder, a nasty hero, or all three. Books for modern teenagers are goopy junk compared to what young people of past eras spent their time reading. However, there is one book written for teens that I find to be one of the best books ever written.

      Many of you, I am sure, have read the popular book by Brett and Alex Harris, Do Hard Things. Hopefully, you’ve also read it, and if you haven’t I encourage you to do so. It’ll be the best eighteen bucks you’ve ever spent on a book. I’ve been loaning my copy out to other teens I know because I think they should read it, too. One on the major points that the Harris twins make in their book is that we should find hard things that we can do for God and them DO them- thus the title of the book.

     Rewind five days form the day I was in the bookstore. It was Christmas Eve, and I was visiting my grandpa, who was in the rehabilitation wing of a nursing home after having surgery (He’s out now and home- thank the Lord for that!). My sister and I were going to play a couple of pieces on the piano for him. As he was taken into the dining hall, where the piano was, another gentleman who is a permanent resident of the home expressed a desire to listen also. We went into the dining room and my sister opened her music and played a breathtaking piece.

     My sister is one of those people to whom music comes as naturally as breathing. For me, it's a different story. I love to play- by myself. I get extremely nervous when I have to play for other people. I don't know why. I can stand up and give a speech in front of people easy as pie, but playing the piano stresses me out.

     In the middle of my sister's piece I realized- Uh-oh, I had left my sheet music at home. Ah, well. I knew a few pieces from memory. But I needed to use the pedal on the piano for those… and it appeared that the out-of-tune player piano had no working pedal. I only know two and one-half songs that do not take pedal. I decided that I really did not want to play- it was not going to sound very good at all, and I didn’t want to follow my sister’s precise Chopin (although a bit clunky without a pedal) with my rusty memorized tunes. Then as she got up form the piano bench and I saw the joy that it brought to my grandpa and especially to the other gentleman- a lonely man whose family he had not seen in many years, I later found out- I realized that it didn’t matter what the playing sounded like to this man. Right then, he was receiving his Christmas gift and this was the closest thing to family that he was going to experience that season. The realized that this was a Do Hard Things moment. 

     What is the next hard thing YOU can do? It could be a simple as playing the piano when you don’t want to, or it could be far more difficult. Whatever it is, take a deep breath and DO it.



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