Potential Talent, the Cost of Discipleship and the Piano Man…
Devotional Thought of the Day:
3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. Romans 12:3 (MSG)
684 So your talents, your personality, your qualities are being wasted. So you’re not allowed to take full advantage of them. Meditate well on these words of a spiritual writer: “The incense offered to God is not wasted. Our Lord is more honored by the immolation of your talents than by their vain use.”
It seems like a silly “dream”, yet it was the only option I ever thought of as an option to being a pastor. It was to use my musical talents in the way Billy Joel sang about in the song “Piano Man”. “And the manager gives me a smile, because he knows that it’s me they are coming to see, to forget about life for a while.”
Of course my classical piano teacher would have been aghast to hear me talk of using my potential for that lowly pursuit. He wanted me to play Rachmaninov and talked about how my finger spread would make it possible to do what so few could do.
I could look back and wonder if I wasted that talent, to be honest I couldn’t play either piece anymore without a month or four of serious practice and stretching out my fingers. I can pick up a guitar, or sit at a keyboard and do simple back-up to other musicians, but be the primary instrumentalist? Not so much…
SO did I waste my talent, and the odd gift that is found in the hands of someone with Marphan’s Syndrome? Did I not take full advantage of them?
Not that I haven’t’ wondered this on occasion, as I’ve sat down and just messed around on the piano, playing whatever my fingers want me to play. Or when I have had the chance to back up my friend Chris, or when a famous CHirstian musician came to do a couple of solos and asked if he could play with our church liturgy band.
What if… and what would have happened if…
St Josemaria has it right, I think. The little talent I have had, well, had it grown, what good would it have served, as compared to how it has served? It’s been used to help people worship, and to be honest, hearing 80 or 100 voices sing His praises, drowning out my voice is a blessing beyond anything I could experience
There is something amazing about hearing people who know and are responding to God’s presence, something that occasionally makes the musicians stop playing, as just find themselves lifted up by hearts resonating with the love of God, as they drop their pain and their burdens, as their souls find healing, deep healing, as tears still flow, but from joy and relief, not from pain and grief. To see people, as St. Paul wrote, understanding themselves in view of their relationship with God, as they realize the love that is beyond measure that is seen in the cross, and in their resurrection, their being born again.
These are moments I have never experienced at a live concert, as enjoyable as they are.
Talented wasted? Not in the least.
I can’t think of a better use… than when the musicians can’t play, and the pastor can’t speak, because His presence is so incredibly present and overwhelming.
May we all have the blessing of knowing God’s presence… to the extent that every
we are is dropped aside in awe.. and gratitude. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1591-1593). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on December 30, 2016, in Devotions, Poiema, st josemaria escriva, The Way and tagged Awe, Born Again, God's presnce, joy, Piano Man, Resurrection from the dead, wasted talent, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.