Gathering Together

         A Lesson From Beethoven


Today, while walking past my piano, I was reminded of something I learned in Music Theory class about Beethoven. Everyone knows that Beethoven was a musical genius, but not everyone may know that most of his famous works were written after he went deaf. In fact, the Symphony No. 9 in D minor was written when he was completely deaf. In order to write this, his most famous symphony, Beethoven had the legs of his piano sawed off and the piano laid on the floor. He would then lie down with his ear on the floorboards while he played with one hand on the piano. By feeling the vibrations, Beethoven could literally here the music in his head.

Remembering this made me think. Beethoven lost his hearing, but he didn’t give up composing beautiful music. What if I could no longer see to read the word of God? What if I was cut off from attending church and fellowshipping with other Christians? Are my feelings for God, my devotion to Him, strong enough to continue without the benefit of a church and God’s written word?

Beethoven knew the different pitches of the notes so well, that he would “hear” the music just by feeling the vibrations through the floorboards. Do I know scripture so well that, though cut off from it, I could still see the words in my mind’s eye and therefore, know God’s will for me in different situations? Do I know scripture well enough that the precepts are embedded in my heart? Do I know God so well that His thoughts are my thoughts, even though I can’t physically read them anymore?

For Beethoven, music was his life, and he could no more stop breathing than stop writing his music. Is my Christianity my life, so much so that I could no more stop breathing than following God? Just as music defined Beethoven, Christianity must define me.

No matter the circumstances I find myself in, turning to God, trusting Him and living in light of that trust, should not depend on other people or a tangible object. Like Beethoven, I must defy the odds, overcome all obstacles - with God’s help - and be able to say, and live out, what Paul so clearly stated in Philippians 1:21 - to live is Christ. For without Him, I would have no life at all.

By Linda Condolora