The great composer Mendelssohn visited a cathedral in Europe that housed one of the most magnificent organs in the world. The German composer quietly sat in a pew and listened as the cathedral organist prepared for the Sunday mass. When he finished, Mendelssohn approached and asked, “Could I play the organ?”
“I’m afraid not,” the elderly man said with a cordial finality. “You understand, of course, that we can’t allow strangers off the street to play our organ.”
Undaunted, Mendelssohn persisted and finally the guardian of the organ relented. As the master’s fingers caressed the keys the great organ came alive and seemed to breath for the first time. Note followed note into the air and together they danced from pew to pew. They pushed off the stone walls and stained-glass windows and transformed every air-born atom into an unseen carrier of musical perfection.
Tears streamed down the old man’s weathered face as he quietly listened. When the last note floated heavenward the cathedral ceiling inhaled it and a satisfied silence filled the great room.
The organ keeper shuffled over to the now quiet instrument where the master affectionately stroked the keyboard. “You are Felix Mendelssohn,” he said.
“I am,” he answered.
“What an old fool I am. I almost prevented you from playing our organ.”
Like that old man, we are the keeper of our heart. And like him we may stand in the way of the Holy Spirit, preventing him from controlling our lives and producing beautiful music through us . . . music in harmony with God’s will.
Paul was aware of this. In Romans 7:14-25 he details the struggle Christians have with the sin that resides within them. Our efforts to live the Christian life without God end in failure and discord. Paul wanted to persuade us to move over, and let the Spirit of God sit at the keyboard.
How do we do that? Books have been written on the subject. But I think we must respond to the Spirit’s coaxing by trusting him to do what he wants through us. We must trust the Spirit of God to give us the power to do what is right. We must rely on the Spirit to help us bridle our tongue; control our eyes, thoughts, and deeds.
This week–consciously choose, throughout each day, to trust God’s Spirit to play his music through you. When you face a temptation say: “Father, I trust your Spirit to enable me to resist.” When you’re prompted to extend a kindness say, “Father, I trust your Spirit to love through me.” If you do this for one week–you’ll be amazed at the tone of your life. And so will those around you.