Looking for the approval of the old man


Irrespective of who we are: all of us are playing for someone’s approval.

Before whom are you living your life, whom do you want to approve what you do and how you live? For some people, it is themselves. They want their own approval. For nearly all people, their dads must approve and also their mothers. Others are playing for the crowds – for glory and fame. What would be for you the ultimate form of approval?

In his book “For An Audience of One”, RT Kendall tells a story about a young prodigy, a pianist, that gave his concert at the Royal Festive Hall in London. His reputation preceded him, and the concert was sold out on the first day. His brilliance exceeded expectancy. At the end of the concert, the audience stood up and wildly cheered and shouted.

The young pianist bowed and hurried off stage. The audience begged him to come back. The stage manager prompted him to go: “They are yelling for you!” But the young man wasn’t moving. He peered through a crack in the curtain. He just said: “I cannot go out there.” The manager was dumbfounded. “Look, son, the whole audience is on their feet.” The boy continued to look – and suddenly he saw him: an old man. No said the boy: “Not all of them are on their feet. There is one old man in the back that is not standing.” The stage manager asked: “Who cares about one old man?” The boy answered: “I care. That’s my teacher. When he stands, I can take that bow.”

The musician knew in his heart that even if two thousand people are applauding, but his teacher is not applauding, nothing matters. He was looking for the approval of his mentor, his teacher.

He was playing for an audience of one.

Who must be in your audience? For whom are you making music?

RT Kendall suggests an audience of One: Your heavenly Father.

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About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert