Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Play A Happy Note

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

I want to tell you the story of Derek Paravicini. Derek is a 31 year old who lives in Surrey, England. To read Derek's condition in a medical chart, would leave a very grim impression indeed. You see, Derek is blind, mentally handicapped to the point of barely being able to count to ten, and cannot discern his left from his right due to an extreme learning disability. Indeed, the odds were stacked against him when he was born premature at only 25 weeks, weighing only 1 1/2 pounds. But this isn't the end of Derek's troubles. He also suffers from autism. That is just what you will read in the medical charts. If you were to meet Derek in person you would discover a completely different person.

Despite suffering from autism, blindness, and a severe mental handicap drastically impairing his learning, Derek is one of only 19 people alive in the world today who is considered a musical savant. This means that Derek has the unexplainable ability to relate and play music in ways that no other person can. Derek is capable of hearing a song once, regardless of it's difficulty level, and recite it back to you in near perfection. He is even capable of categorizing the notes of a train engine as it accelerates. He virtually sees music. Once he hears a song, he never forgets it. It is believed he has over 1 million songs stored in his brain. Rather than divide his brain power into many different tasks, the majority of his thinking is used exclusively for music. While I found this impressive, it is not what I found most impressive about Derek's story. It was his personality.

I was watching a man who appeared to suffer greatly from many different physical and mental handicaps yet his personality and upbeat spirit would never let on. He has this way of speaking to people, and using his voice too. He loved to play for people, and would even take requests. Regardless of how obscure the song chances are Derek would play it for you with enthusiasm. Derek has such a positive energy about him that people cannot help but smile and feel good when they are around him. They tend forget his disabilities because he makes such good use of his infectious personality.

But the world is not full of "Derek's", is it? Unfortunately, we seem to find ourselves surrounded (usually at work) by the one person we could only describe as 'The World's Most Negative Person'. This person is superhuman, because even though there can only be one 'Worlds Worst', they seem to hold a position in every office across America. They're nasty to their coworkers, they always complain, and even cut coworkers down in front of others. They hate their job, and the work load that comes with it and are bound to make you feel the same. After all, misery loves company, right? This person is decidedly not a Derek Paravicini. However, you can be.

We all have an energy source flowing through us, and it only comes in two forms; positive and negative. More often than not we accept the negative energy into our lives with more ease than we do the positive. In other words, we are affected by negative circumstances with more ease and let it affect us to a greater extent. Think about it, have you ever been so nervous about something going on in your life that you're unable to sleep at night? Instead of sleeping you are up out of bed, pacing the floors or nervous cleaning? This is the classic example of nervous or negative energy taking control.

Perhaps you were in a really good mood until someone else who was in a bad mood comes around? Have you ever noticed how fast this can change your minset? You go from feeling happy and upbeat to falling into a slump, and you don't know why. That is because the transformation of positive energy into negative. But how can you get rid of it? The First Law of Thermodynamics says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. It is all about our mindset on how we choose to see and react to these situations. If we choose to react with pessimism, then we will reap a harvest of suffering. If we choose to see the world with optimism, then we will receive blessings from it in return. Negativity is going to happen, we cannot stop it. What we can do is control how we respond to it. This is the refusal of allowing negativity to control our lives, instead turning to positivity, which is a basis in our christian living (Phil. 4:8).

When someone is being negative, simply refuse to accept it and guard your positivity like it were a treasure. That is because it is. If you try to spread a positive attitude onto others, they will eventually catch it like a cold. It starts with only one person and spreads like wildfire. This is a great way to minister to people because it leaves them wondering about you. If you do it right, after they finish wondering about you, they will be left with one conclusion- God. It is a part of letting our lights so shine.

So the next time things begin to feel overwhelming, just remember that you still have your sight, and you are not handicapped, and just play that negativity a tune until things lighten up. Might I recommend Philippians 4:8, or perhaps James Chapter 1 in C-Sharp?

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