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Burst of Inspiration

9# – 88 Keys on a Piano


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When my daughter was in second grade she began playing the piano.  That piano rested against the wall of my study so I got to hear her when she was beginning to learn how to play the piano.  And to be honest, it was painful to hear the same notes over and over and  — it was quite an experience.  But she continued taking lessons and she got better and better.  Now many years later she plays beautifully.  TO hear the harmonies and melodies and music coming through is something spectacular and beautiful.  Imagine that you were to see a concert pianist and he plays an entire concerto and when he’s done you walk over to him and say, “My goodness that was magnificent.  How long have you been playing?”  And he says to you, “Oh, about a week.”  “No, no, I mean when did you start learning how to play the piano?”  “Oh, about a week ago.  I just sat down and started playing and this is what came out.  Naturally you wouldn’t believe him because the piano is something that takes an awful lot of time, practice, and focus to learn how to play.

On a piano are 88 keys but the timing, the rhythm, the way you press those keys either creates beautiful music or creates mere noise.  Have you ever looked at a person and instantly known what they were feeling?  Most of us do it all the time.  You could look at me and see if I’m happy or sad, angry or disappointed.  My face shows my emotions but that’s not as simple as you might think it is because there are 98 muscles in the face that tell the cheeks to go higher, the brow to go lower, and the various emotions that I feel are expressed on my face through a very complex, very, very sophisticated arrangement of those muscles.  So here’s the point.  The 88 keys on a piano take years and years to master how to move them.  Yet, who taught you how to move your cheeks, your brow, the 98 muscle of your face.  And the answer is no one taught you because sociologists have now made the following observation.

Throughout every society, throughout every type of structure of civilization people will demonstrate the same facial appearances to the same emotions.  Happiness is generated with a smile.  Sadness with a frown.  And when a person puts on a fake smile you and I both know it because the human being knows how to express himself the human being naturally shows his emotions on his face.  And if you’d like to see one of the wonders of creation it’s that this very, very delicate thing called the face controlled by 98 muscles and it’s such a fine, delicate control.  And if you’re not sure that that’s right just look at a person that has a stroke and you’ll quickly seek to regain the muscular control.  It’s very difficult yet each of us at a very tender age naturally did it because that’s one of the gifts that God gave to us — to be able to show people what we’re feeling and it’s very delicate ability to show our emotions comes naturally because that’s one of the great wisdoms that God invested into the human being.

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