Thursday, March 4, 2010

Magical Moment 28, "What Changed its' Worth?"

I don’t consider myself a perfectionist. My house is not meticulously clean or organized. I don’t match my socks before I put them in the drawer. There are dirty dishes in my sink from last night when I made cookies (and those definitely didn’t turn out perfect, ew). But there are certain things, whether it’s writing or recording a song, or a performance in any setting, when I turn into a complete rain man, obsessing continuously until I’m finished. It’s more than just focus and discipline, which would be normal and healthy. It’s crazy, fanatical, consuming fixation, followed by an overly harsh and judgmental review of myself.

I am my biggest critic. I am prone to automatically assuming that performance was awful, that song sounds horrible, or I acted like a complete idiot and they’ll never call me to play for their party again. If I don’t feel like something was a complete success, then I categorize it as a total failure. I don’t know why I do this. My husband bears the brunt of my fanaticism, but never tires of telling me that I’m not all these horrible things my mind throws at me.

Yesterday, I took out my violin that I haven’t touched in several months. I took lessons years ago in elementary school and decided last summer to re-visit the instrument. I began with a fiddle piece and moved on to a more fluid song. If I could ever play, just one song on the violin, in tune and with some vibrato, I would be happy. I’m a far cry from this however and yesterday I was reminded just how far when my vibrato exercises sounded like a mix between a very sad cat and an old, creaky door opening and closing. Eventually my ears (and most likely my downstairs neighbors) had enough. As I wiped the rosin residue off the beautiful instrument and placed it gently back into its’ case, I suddenly thought of something I hadn’t thought of in years.

I flashed back to the house I grew up in, sitting in the hallway, listening to a cassette tape play a song about a violin. I strained to remember, what was that song? What were the words? …One dollar, two dollars, who’ll give me three…? The touch of the Master’s Hand!!! That was it! The song was about an old, dusty violin being sold at an auction. No one would bid for it because it appeared to be worthless. Suddenly, an old man walked to the front, blew the dust of the violin, and began to play beautifully. Immediately the crowd began to bid thousands of dollars for the once worthless instrument. Someone in the crowd asked, “I don’t understand. What changed its' worth?” And someone else replied, “It was the touch of the Master’s hand.”

God says I’m valuable. Not a failure. Not stupid. Not lacking talent. Not a huge screw up. These thoughts that creep into my head are lies. Fabrications. They are not reality. And they are certainly not from God. I have been “touched by the Master’s hand.” I may not be an expert violinist, I may not always deliver perfection or complete success in my work, but to Him I am priceless. Is there anything else that matters?

"The Touch of the Master's Hand" - Myra 'Brooks' Welch
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile; "What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?" "A dollar, a dollar"; then two!" "Only
two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three? Three dollars, once; three
dollars twice; going for three.." But no, from the room, far back, a
gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust
from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody
pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; "What am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two? Two thousand! And who'll make
it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone," said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not
quite understand what changed its worth." Swift came the reply: "The touch
of a master's hand."

And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
"mess of pottage," a glass of wine; a game - and he travels on. "He is
going" once, and "going twice, He's going and almost gone." But the Master
comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul
and the change that's wrought by the touch of the Master's hand.

**The cassette tape was of Angela Tucker. To view more about Angela and Doug Tucker's ministries, click here.