My three year old nephew recently decided he’d like to play the piano, so he climbed up onto the stool and began pressing the keys.
Before long, his one year old brother toddled over to see what was happening. Seeing led to wanting to join in, so he, too, began pressing keys.
But his older brother didn’t like it.
“Tell him to stop it,” he complained to me as he struggled to push his brother’s hands away from the piano keys, “I’m doing this by myself."
“Maybe you could play a duet?” I suggested.
His nose wrinkled: “What’s a duet?”
“It’s where two people play the piano at the same time.”
“Oh. Well what’s it called when only one person plays?”
“That’s called a solo.”
He thought about it, then started pulling his brother up onto the piano stool beside him.
“Come on, we can do a duet.”
And the two of them began bashing away at the keys.
My nephew didn’t know that it's ok for two people to play the piano at the same time.
But once he did know, he didn’t want to go back to playing solo.
I found this quite challenging.
I thought about my writing and other aspects of my life.
I certainly know that it is ok for two to work at it.
God and me.
But sometimes I forget that I’m playing a duet in life, not a solo.
I try and do things in my own strength, forgetting to invite God to sit alongside me as I write, or think, or wait, or read, or chat, or whatever it may be.
Like my nephew, I have an ‘I’m doing this by myself’ solo mentality.
And I push God’s hands away from the keys (be they piano or computer or….).
Which means I’m occupied with pushing, not playing or typing.
Which makes it hard to play or type.
But I struggle on.
And then, finally, I remember that God is still standing beside me.
I don't have to play solo.
So I ask God,
“Can we play a duet?”
He sits down next to me.
And, together, we begin to play.
Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15: 4