She thought something sounded wrong as she played her piano piece for me, so she stopped playing and looked at the music with a puzzled expression. She went back to the beginning and started once again, and once again she paused at the same place. It just sounded wrong. Well, it was! She was making the same mistake yet again. With a big sigh, she started over one more time. As she approached the troubling section, she slowed to another stop. At that point I said, “Don’t park it and put a house number on it! Just keep going!”
It’s an old saying, which makes sense, because I am old! It is related to traveling in a motor home. Motor homes weren’t originally meant to be permanent homes. They were meant to travel to a location and then move on. My idiomatic expression was simply aimed at getting her to keep going and not take up permanent residence at that mistake! She made a mistake…so don’t sit and dwell on it, keep moving on!
Isn’t that like us in life? We make mistakes, do things wrong, mess up! We find ourselves eventually living there at the site of the wrongdoing. We become immersed in the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” instead of simply doing our best to make amends and then moving on. I know this because I am a professional at making mistakes and messes! I am also an expert at living there!
I think our mistakes and messes can and should be corrected and cleaned up to the best of our ability; however, there are some we just can’t fix at all. It would make things worse to even try. All we can do is sincerely apologize and move on. Still, it is more harmful to park our lives there and take up permanent residence. “Park it and put a house number on it” if you will.
After my student finished playing the song for me, we went over the steps of how she could keep from making that mistake again. It requires looking closely at that place in the music and slowly playing it right a few times. From that time on, they will most likely not make the same mistake again.
It is important to note that sometimes what has been played in the music is not an error; instead, it is a planned moment of dissonance the composer has placed there so that when the dissonance resolves, there is a sigh of joy and relief.
The same is true in life. There are times when discord and distress are present creating seasons of stress. At those times, we must keep moving forward to the best of our ability, asking God for the necessary strength and wisdom to continue and reminding ourselves frequently that at some point it will resolve.
I am aware that this may seem like a very simplistic approach to the deep place you are going through. I don’t mean to minimalize it or give thoughtlessly simple words with which to face it. God knows I have walked through enough of my own seasons of distress and will face more before my journey here is done, to not take lightly the things people face. Nevertheless, I want to encourage you to grasp the truth that whatever you are facing will pass. If not here, then when you see Jesus face to face. Be encouraged by that promise! Lift up your eyes to focus on the One who will see you through.
Father, I make frequent mistakes and am prone to live there. Show me how You would have me to approach them and move on. And at the times when my life is going through a season of discord and distress, provide the strength, wisdom, and encouragement I need to stay close to You as You lead the way. Thank You. Amen.
Song for the Day:
Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.
When my way grows drear,
Precious Lord, linger near,
When my life is almost gone,
Hear my cry, hear my call,
Hold my hand lest I fall:
When the darkness appears
And the night draws near,
And the day is past and gone,
At the river I stand,
Guide my feet, hold my hand:
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