Recital Reflections: On Transformation and Incremental Change

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Old McDonald Had a Farm, Dinosaur Music Night, Wish I Were a Fish, Bear Went over the Mountain, and other hits were presented by our Kindergarten and First Grade emerging piano students last Friday morning. The number of phones in action and the smiles on the faces of parents, grandparents, friends (including one alumna from one of the first graduating classes) revealed hearts of joy and approval.

Last Tuesday evening we enjoyed the recital from the high school students that included works of more noted composers, Hayden, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, and the like performed with impressive skill.



As I reflected on those two recitals, I was struck by the remarkable progression and skill development that can occur over time. Going from pushing keys to playing music is quite a transformation!

This calls to mind the spiritual reality that we are not yet all we want to be but, by God’s grace, we are not what we once were. God graciously keeps His covenant promises to His people to show us our sin and areas where we need to repent and conform us to the image of Christ over time (Romans 8:29). Mercifully, He doesn’t show us all of our deficiencies at once or we would be overwhelmed. It is easy to want others to be patient with our development while losing patience with the rate of maturity demonstrated in them!


Incremental Change

We encourage our young musicians to stay with it by trying to give them a vision for what they will be able to do one day with patient work over the long haul. Incremental progress is the norm, not an instant transformation. The same is true for all of us as we seek to mature as Christians, parents, teachers, and friends. Maturity and change is an incremental process that is often unnoticeable in the present and only visible as we take occasional looks back to see from whence we have come. Those occasional glimpses into the rearview mirror of the past give us hope as we look out the windshield towards the future.

As parents and teachers, we do well to remember that our students are far from finished products (as are we!).  Be encouraged by the prospect of incremental change as we seek the Lord day by day in His Word, worship, prayer, and obedient discipleship.

Be patient. Be faithful. Old MacDonald will one day be replaced with Debussy’s Clair de lune!  Just wait and see!


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Published on by Mike Sligh.