To Boldly Give


I’ll admit it. I’m not the best musician (or writer, or photographer, or painter. . .you name it) in the world. Not even close. But even though I’m not the best at any of those things, I am still an artist.

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I used to worry, to focus only on how I compared to others, how I didn’t measure up. Or else I would feel proud that I was better at playing violin than other people were. It was all about the competition–was I going to be the next Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

Sadly, I never practiced enough as a child to make THAT dream come true. And really, even with all the wonderful benefits of playing a musical instrument, who wants to sacrifice their childhood to playing seven hours a day? Only the most dedicated, and I’ve never joined their ranks.

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Random violin picture because what’s prettier than a well-made violin?

So now I’ve given up my dream (if you can call it that) of being the next Itzhak Perlman or Hilary Hahn, standing on stage to thunderous applause after I just finished playing the hardest piece of music ever written for violin. It’s far more practical to stand on stage to thunderous applause for playing something simple, like Silent Night. Fewer heart attacks for all involved.

But even though I’m not the world’s greatest, I’ve learned so much from playing the violin. I’ve always been a quiet, private person, unsure of what or how much to say. Playing the violin, though, has made me aware of what I want to say–and it provides the perfect way to say it.

The most important thing about being given a gift is not whether you’re at the top of the list, the most practiced, the most coherent, the most put-together. The most important thing is to use that gift, to share it with others. You don’t play the piano (or cello, or violin, or saxophone, or clarinet, etc) perfectly? That’s ok. You didn’t write the world’s best-selling novel? That’s ok. You don’t keep your house perfectly clean all the time? That’s ok.

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You can still play your instrument for people: I assure you, they’ll love it! You can still take pride in your writing–it can still bless others. You can still invite people over to your slightly messy house–they’ll still feel welcomed. Having a gift isn’t about having the perfect environment to show it off in, or even the perfect gift to show off. Having a gift is about giving, sharing yourself with others. Don’t let fear stop you–take pride in your gift. Give boldly. You never know who you’ll be blessing.

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6 thoughts on “To Boldly Give

  1. Caleb Nelson

    The second picture is not at all random; in fact, I laughed out loud when I saw it. Think about its placement: you say you’re not the most dedicated, and then show a violin with its face turned to the wall, giving the viewer the cold shoulder. It just seems so . . . appropriate.

    The message of the post is well-taken, though. Certainly to share what one has is much better than spending all one’s time comparing it to what others have received!

  2. Amy Chase

    What a wonderful perspective, Annika, on the gifts and abilities our Creator God gives us so as to be able to give away! I’ll be sharing this with our Fusion students in Slovakia!

  3. RC

    Annta, you may not be the world’s best, but I can’t tell you how much I enjoy listening to you play your violin….even if you were just practicing. I have some very fond memories of you playing your violin, and some of my favorite pieces now are pieces I first heard you play. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your gift. 🙂

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