This posting is directed to the organist who sent this plea for help to the Discussion page:
Most of the organists I know who have taken any type of lessons through schools have learned to be creative, enhancing the text with registration, proper use (or non-use) of pedal, volume, soloing out a part on another manual, key changes, etc. My ward music chairman has asked me to be VERY conservative and feels that most of the things I do are calling undue attention to the organ, which is not my intent. What should I do?
I have a great deal of empathy, but not a lot of solid answers—just a few random thoughts that hopefully will bring forth some much more practical responses from others.
I was in a similar situation for a short time, but a recent change in ward leadership brought much relief to my frustration with the ultra-conservative music guidelines that had been imposed. This answer to my prayers reminded me of a favorite C. S. Lewis quote:
Meanwhile, little people, like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.
So the way I see it, I got what I wanted not because I somehow deserved it or that my faith warranted this blessing, but because I’m a wimp! In my mind this means that God knows that you are much stronger than I am, much better equipped to handle this situation than those of us who have leadership-supported musical freedom in our callings. God trusts you to come through this with your love and faith strengthened.
I think Laura Story’s song Mercies In Disguise puts it very well:
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise
Not to dismiss the challenge that you face, my friend, but could it be that this frustration is a way to bring you closer to God…a mercy in disguise?