The world renowned sacred musician Robert Harkness, once had in his choir a soloist of rare talent, who phoned him one morning and announced bluntly that she was resigning.
He replied instantly, “Your resignation is accepted.”
There was a surprise sputter on the other end.
“You mean that?” she gasped.
“Indeed I do,” affirmed Mr Harkness. “You joined the choir of your own free will and you can resign if that is your choice.”
“But may I come to see you and explain first? she pleaded.
When she came she reminded him - though not quite sure of herself now - “But, Mr Harkness, I have not been asked to sing a solo for a whole month!”
“If that’s your reason,” said Mr Harkness firmly, “you have done the right thing in resigning, for you obviously have been singing, not to the glory of God, but for the glory of self, and there is no room in our choir for such singers. Go home and think about it for a month.”
At the end of three weeks she came to him : “Mr Harkness, I have decided to seek only His glory. May I come back?”
“Certainly,” he replied, “but the seat in the first row which was formerly yours has now been assigned to someone else. You come to rehearsal this Friday night and we will find a seat for you in the back.”
After the rehearsal the woman said to him: “I am willing to seat any place hereafter; the humblest place is more than I deserve.” Warmly the great musician said, “That’s what I like to hear ! And to prove I believe you, I want you to sing a solo next Sunday night.”
She did; though the voice was the same, the singer was transformed. The masterful touch of unexpected discipline had brought her to a spiritual awakening.