Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sola Fide: A Parable

Once upon a time, a beggar was taken off the street, cleaned up, dressed in an Armani tuxedo, and placed in a nice white room with a beautiful view overlooking the villa where he was staying. The door opened, and a famous composer walked into the room wearing a white suit and white gloves. He handed the beggar a Stradivarius violin and bow and stood in front of the window.

"You are a musician now," said the composer. "I've done all the paperwork. Your debts are paid, you have a new identity, and bodyguards so that no one from your past will contact you again. I have enrolled you in the nation's best conservatory, as well as an admirable choir. You have performances scheduled at intervals over the next few years, and a final jury to come at the end of them. I will personally teach you everything you need to know about music. So let's get started!"

"But wait," said the beggar, "I thought you said I was a musician?"

"You are," said the composer.

"Then... why do I need to practice?"

"Because you're a musician. Musicians practice."

"But if I'm "in", so to speak, and got everything worked out for me, why practice?"

"Because you're a musician, and you have performances and a jury coming up."

"Well, with a guy like you backing me, I might just play by ear, you know? I'm sure you'll take care of it."

"There will be judges at this jury. I'm one of them."

"All the better for me, man. You'll give me a good grade right?"

"If you are a musician."

"But I am a musician."

"Musicians practice."

"Then I'm not a musician?"

"You are a musician if you practice."

"How much? Does it have to be perfect? I mean what do you expect from a guy like me?"

"I expect perfection. That's why I'm here."

"Then you don't accept me for who I am?"

"I accept you for who you are, and you are a musician."

"But I'm not a musician, really."

"Then you may as well leave."

"Ah, you're making this hard, man."

"It wasn't meant to be easy."

"What wasn't?"

"The election process."

"And what if I am a musician and practice and all that? What do I get for it?"

"Everything you can imagine and more."

"Really? Well, in that case, I think I might give it a try," said the musician.

"Then let's get started."

1 comment:

  1. I love this...that's a very clever way of looking at it. And very true.