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Topic: Blessed (11/29/04)
TITLE: HOW BLESSED AM I
By Phyllis Inniss
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As young children, when travelling in the train (they have done away with them), we would start to sing unashamedly any of the songs or hymns that we knew. In time, the whole carriage would join in and everyone would be singing away and feeling so happy. A feeling of camaraderie would develop. At the end of their respective journeys the passengers would congratulate us and tell our mother what lovely children she had.
My mother always told us to wear a smile on our face. Smiling comes naturally to my brother (a real charmer) and myself. Even soon after her death and I was hurting inside, I covered my hurt with a smile which had become a habit.
Others recognized my talents even before I did. The Headmaster of my primary (elementary) school would let me lead the school in song or hymn and I would choose the tune I wanted. He was a brilliant pianist, but he did not always feel to play, I guess. This was quite an honour for me, as I was leading children older than myself.. At secondary school, I was not only lead singer in one of the largest choirs at the time (not the school choir), but I played lead roles in plays. I sang at christenings, weddings and concerts, and when we went carolling at Christmas time.
So you can imagine my chagrin when at one of our music festivals, I failed miserably. I had developed a hayfever/sinus condition. Back then when there were fewer entertainment genres, music festivals were rated very high on the agenda. Every two years adjudicators from the U.K. would come to judge and there was always an air of high expectancy in the different categories of music, especially in singing.
I had been taking a mixture of honey and wine to keep my throat clear before the event. The mezzo-sopranos had the most beautiful tune, “O My Beloved, Hear Thou My Plea” I went to rehearsals regularly and there was no problem. I remember the applause of the audience as I came on to the stage. The pianist started the introduction and I began the first few notes and my voice just went off key. I couldn’t carry on. I left the stage feeling totally disgraced.
What happened? I couldn’t be sure. I couldn’t smile with anyone. I started to ask myself why. I took a review of myself. Perhaps I was being punished. I remember when I was at secondary school I had refused to sing the song the Principal had chosen for me. I thought it was too old-fashioned. I realized later that perhaps I had got too big for my boots, as they say. I began to think that God was really teaching me a lesson. I never had the courage to sing solo again. I was always afraid of a repeat of that disastrous night. But I learned a valuable lesson from that experience – humility. (Isaiah10:33) says “…. the haughty shall be humbled.”
As a result, one of the things I passed on to my son was to always thank God for the gifts He has bestowed on him, and not to think of himself more highly than anyone else. I consider myself blessed to have realized this early enough to be able to show my son that wisdom comes from God. (Prov.3:7) says “Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil.” James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God that giveth to all men liberally.” I thank God for blessing my son so liberally throughout his life and for having blessed me as well.
1st Dec. 2004
Quotes taken from King James Version