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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: "Ready Maestro?"
By Frank Salerni


“Ready, Maestro?”

“Ok, I’m a brand new Christian, so I want to do everything right.”

“God, you know that regardless of what I do, that music has always been my passion. I want to give You all of that previous, vile lifestyle. Take it! The sex, drugs, and rock “n” roll, I give it to You. I know that I can’t live like that and claim Christianity, because it doesn’t glorify You. So, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength I am going to sit right here in my car, and listen to this gospel station, that is currently playing traditional hymns, and I will learn to love them.”

Oops, it didn’t work. I did try, and try, and try again.

I felt beat up, almost tortured. It was music that seemed to come from a distant past. I thought of prohibition times. It was music that took me way back to the horse and carriage days of yester year. I was literally weeping with agony, as if I was trying to force myself to enjoy, at least to my ears, the reminiscent sounds of long fingernails raking down an elementary school blackboard.

Did I offend you? Please read on.

I love the hymns now, but that was almost 28 years ago. I had no previous exposure to hymns.

All I knew were, “The Beach Boys,” “The Beatles,” “The Rolling Stones,” “Wilson Pickett,” “The Temptations,” “Aretha Franklin,” “Jimi Hendrix,” “Z Z Top.”

You get the picture… I’m old.

In light of where I came from I can no longer live in the past. If all things work together for good, then I need to move forward.

God has brought me down the path of pyrite. I have tripped over heaps of brassy, metallic, crystal substances I thought were pure gold, only to find traces of man’s effort to become holy.

I was duped by the way others seemed to shine. I wanted to be like them. What I later found was that I really needed to become more like Jesus.

When the Bible speaks of the Devil coming as an, “angel of light,” in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, I take that to mean he looks good, but deceit is his game.

Churches are no different, for we know that people are the church, right? Does it really matter what denomination they are?

It wasn’t until God gave me back the gift of music to use as He saw fit, that I was set free from my own religious trap. I was trying to forcibly become Godly. You just can’t do it, and say that you are abiding in the, “True Vine,” Jesus Christ.

God the Father is the vinedresser. He is the one who’s job it is the pluck, prune, and purge, the branch (us) so as to produce more, good, and lasting fruit. You can’t force fruit out of the branch; it has to happen naturally. Abiding in the vine is to live and make your home in Jesus.

The end result is in receiving the gift from God that He gives you, and then using it to glorify Him. The management of the gift is also His, but it is so hard to keep our hands clean, and out of His way.

It took me growing in the Lord, and developing a strong, personal relationship with Him, before religion started to break off, and I could see it for what it was.

Beautiful to behold, shinning like the sun, full of emotion, but in most ways, worthless.

Giving God the best things in our lives is easy. What is hard is giving God those things we think have worth, but are found to be, “fools gold.”

Again, make no mistake. I now, love the hymns.

They in my opinion, have deep, theological worth set to music, and that is a marvelous thing, indeed! I, like all new Christians, needed to start my journey in Christ, first… by being nursed, then by crawling, and walking, before I could run or fly.

Now, I have the grace to write new songs, as well as enjoy the older, traditional hymns. In truth and love I believe that many of God’s musicians are “golden oldies,” like me, but Jesus ultimately is my Maestro.

Ask yourself the next time you hear the tapping of His baton… if you are ready to play His song, His way?

(Parable about the true vine is found, ((in most translations,)) in JOHN 15:1-3.)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 02/01/08
Some very insightful sentiments here. Thanks for writing.
George Parler 02/01/08
This one definitely hits close to home. I like the voice of this piece. The honesty shines bright in your words. Well done.