Even so, I sat down at the piano, opened the hymnbook, turned off the automatic piano player, and began to play a soft prelude.
After playing the opening and sacrament hymns, I sat quietly with my thoughts. My insecurities about playing for a congregation I didn’t know tumbled through my mind. I thought of all the people who play better than I do and how I really should practice more. Then my thoughts spiraled even further.
These members had a perfectly playing digital piano in their chapel. Their piano would play the right notes and play it perfectly. Every time. Without fail.
Why did they ask me to play? Why did they even need me? I messed up when I played, had trouble playing the right tempo, and wasn’t even sure I had turned up the volume loud enough.
But they didn’t ask me if I played the piano perfectly. They asked only if I was willing to play. They wanted someone real, someone tangible. Someone physically present. Someone there.
As I sat through the rest of the meeting, I started to feel the Spirit teaching me. I realized that the invitation to come and be there—as we are—is what I believe God hopes from each of us as we come unto Him and to the Savior.
God could have everything be perfect if He desired. But our growth and our development are more important to Him. Our realness. Our physical presence. Our talents and our frailties. Even our missed notes. He sees our efforts, our hearts, and our desires, and He wants the very best we have to give.
As I played the closing hymn that day, I was reminded again of how it could have been played perfectly. And as I begin this new year, even though I would prefer to do everything perfectly, God simply asks me to be there and do my best. He wants me. As I am.