I'm getting really good at being humble.

I walked into church yesterday 15 minutes early, ready for a spiritual uplift and glad in the knowledge that I had no responsibilities for any of the meetings. How often does THAT happen in the LDS church?

Bet you can guess what happened...

Yep, the regular organist's car was dead and could I fill in at the last minute? Of course, I'd love to. (sigh--there went my favorite thing about December--SINGING the hymns and at full-throated glory with my plain alto voice that sometimes cracks for no reason so I cough to pretend that my larynx had an itch). Oh well, the next best thing to singing Christmas hymns is playing them. But I couldn't play the first song (Once in David's Royal City) so I said there'd be a switch. No problem, says the bishopric member. I told him that the other two songs would be fine. I could play both of them just dandy. Right.

It's very difficult to play cold. Luckily I had spent the morning on the piano, unluckily, I had been playing other songs. But I proceeded to play a few prelude hymns. And then the humility started. I played them badly. Sigh. I'm going to blame it on the fact that I wasn't playing out of my own personal hymnbook with my own markings in it.

So on with the meeting. First hymn went ok. But I totally botched the sacrament hymn, which I had SAID that I could play.

You know, I've been at this for 5 years or more. And I never seem to get any better. Sigh. But I'm so used to failure at this instrument that I don't go home and cry about it any more. I do still tend to try to apologize to anyone and everyone present in the meeting, though.

After the "I Stand All Amazed" debacle, I saw the regular organist sitting in the back, so I was let off the hook for the last hymn, "Silent Night." Too bad that's like one of the easiest hymns in the whole book, one which I can play WITH THE PEDALS and NO PRACTICE needed. My opportunity to redeem myself was lost.

This story has no happy ending (although I'm not all that sad about it. Humility and high profile exposure of one's shortcomings--at least on the church congregational level--is something I have learned to deal with) but I will say that given the opportunity to sub last minute, I would do it without hesitation, which is something I wouldn't have done 6 years ago. And now I have a profound respect for organists of any talent level. I will gladly accept the meagerist musical offering in an LDS church meeting.

Comments

Dennis said…
Anybody that can play the organ well or less well is to be commendedn Next time maybe you could play Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor by Bach (my favorite).
TaterBean said…
LOL...ur excuse could be that you were asked at the LAST MINUTE...that is always difficult to do last minute. You're lucky you got to play the organ though. I hate that in my ward we dont have an organist...we have a "ward pianist" instead. It is hard because the piano is so much quieter. I don't like singing to the piano in sacrament meeting. I just wish the bishop would decide to use my organ "skills" and put me up there on sundays. Then people could hear what we're singing. BLAH! oh well...
Does he know you have organ skills?
froggybaby said…
I have always said that I was placed on this earth to make others feel good about themselves!! I'm destined to be humble strictly by circumstance!! I hope you smiled out at the congregation the whole time - that "I meant to do that" look!
Jen said…
Oh, Sara, I'm sure you did much better than you think. Even if you didn't I know the members probably understand your predicament. I envy your piano/organ skillz.
Karie said…
At least you were willing to play! I'm afraid that my talent is a home-use one only. Put me in front of more than two people and I freeze. It sucks, but there it is.

And, as always, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one whose voice cracks randomly! *sigh of relief*
Yeah, Karie, my skill on piano was a for-home use only too (and I had never played the organ). Then the ward I was in got desperate. I was one out of TWO people who knew enough about piano playing to at least plunk out the right hand. And Sacrament meeting hasn't been the same since.

Jen-yes, all the members say to my face that they never hear mistakes.

Froggy--I hide behind the organ so no one can see my red face.