I am guilty of being a wannabe at times. I see wonderful musicians, dancers, plumbers and painters and think ‘I could do that.’ Ok, well maybe not the plumbing 😉 But the very gift that I see alive in others I often think to myself, “Wow, that’s amazing, I want to try that.”
In my early 20’s I got a guitar for Christmas from my parents. I have an Uncle that would often pull out his guitar at family get-togethers and play us a country tune, bringing many of us to tears (we are a hugging-tear-crying clan!) I have cousins and friends who self-taught. I would swoon and think to myself, “I can do that.”
Shortly thereafter I took a job as a Chaplain at an Air Cadet camp, for three summers. Hands down, that was one of the coolest jobs I’ve ever had! On Wednesday nights there were “jam sessions” where staff would hang out and sing old Canadian tunes. A friend of mine had also started learning the guitar so one night she showed me some chords and we learned the song by Sheryl Crow, “The First Cut is the Deepest”. The summer went on and I learned to let my fingers go and just had fun strumming in the background with guys who’d been playing for 30 years. They didn’t care that I was a newbie, they were just happy to have me along for the ride.
Well, since then that same Sheryl Crow song has been my ‘go-to’. You know what I mean. My comfort zone of music where I know the chords, the words, and it even resonates a bit. When I lived with my sister, she would even joke, “You’re playing that song agaaaaain?” wink assumed 😉 That song and “How Great is Our God” have been my guitar melodies! I was talking to a friend last night about how I really need to learn some new songs because when someone asks me to play for them, pulling out a tune about broken hearts isn’t exactly a pick-me-up. Umm, especially for first dates 😉 Way to go Lani, that’ll impress him!
But it got me thinking again on how often in life we can bust our butt trying to develop someone else’s gift, in us, and don’t focus on what we’re already good at. I’m always up for trying something new or learning a new skill, but at the end of the day there are just some things that are not my forte!
I don’t sing like Beyonce.
I don’t bake delicious cakes.
I don’t fish, play competitive sports, run marathons, excel in sewing, storytelling to large groups, or glow like a supermodel.
But you know what? I CAN put an outfit together out of anything or make a home cozy. I can feel the pain of a friend and find some way to help. And I can write a poem in t-10 minutes that can make you laugh or cry or both. I know Jesus is first in my life so it’s up to Him to develop me!
I know when I soar, and I know when I’m forcing something unnatural.
When our natural abilities get left behind because we’re trying so many other things, then what happens to the real gift in us? Perhaps it’s time to focus on what we’re good at and embrace our God-given uniqueness and let the world enjoy us for who we are, not what we’re trying to be.
Because let’s face it, no-one needs to hear me sing about broken hearts on my out-of-tune guitar! (Unless you want some light entertainment, of course 😉 ) That SAID, I will likely keep this baby around because of the simple entertainment! Just don’t expect to see me playing on any stage. Ever.
P.S…. Two Christmases ago I was driving and heard on the radio “Name that Song”. I NEVER call in for these games, but guess which song was playing? You got it. I called in right away and won 10 CD’s. I had to laugh – if only they knew how many times I’d played that song!!
Happy friday ya’ll !!