A little girl wanted to become a great pianist, but all she could play on the piano was the simple little tune, “Chopsticks.” No matter how hard she tried, that was the best she could do. Her parents decided after some time to arrange for a great maestro to teach her to play properly. Of course, the little girl was delighted.
When the little girl and her parents arrived at the maestro’s mansion for the first lesson, they were escorted by the butler into the parlor, where they saw a beautiful concert grand piano. Immediately, the little girl dashed over to the piano and began playing “Chopsticks.” Her embarrassed parents started across the room to tell her to stop, but as she played, the maestro entered the room and encouraged the little girl to continue.
The maestro then took a seat on the piano bench next to the little girl, listening to her play. After a moment he began to play along with her, adding chords, runs, and arpeggios a musical technique where notes in a chord are played in sequence, one after the other. The little girl continued to play “Chopsticks.” The parents couldn’t believe their ears. They were hearing a beautiful piano duet, played by their daughter and the maestro, and amazingly enough, the central theme of it was still “Chopsticks.”
At times you may feel like you’re a nobody, that you will never accomplish great things. But think of that little girl. All she could play was “Chopsticks.” Nobody wanted to hear “Chopsticks.” It was an embarrassment to her parents and annoying to everyone else. Yet the maestro encouraged her to keep on playing.
God knows what you can do. He created you with gifts and talents. Sure, compared to some people’s abilities, your gifts and talents may seem like “Chopsticks”– not very original and not very spectacular. But God says, “Keep on playing–and make some room on the piano bench for Me.” God is able to take the little that we are able to do and turn it into something beautiful for Him.
The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25
14 ¶ For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed:
25 and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed
27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The more we share our talents the happier we will become. Are we sharing every talent we have or are we hiding them? I know people who literally can sing, dance or play a musical instrument that have hid their talents for years, no one knows how talented they are.
Not all talents are obvious; some come in the form of empathy, humility, unconditional love and even good humor that can help lift our spirits.
I am thankful for a thoughtful neighbor Dennis Peterson who can fix anything. He has helped our family with countless car problems and he is good at doing it. He can find a problem with any car in three minutes or less, this is no exaggeration.
The world will be a better place to live when we wake up every day asking the question, who will benefit from my talents today. Go make a difference in the lives of others.
Every one of us has talents that will reach out to others. Never discount the effect you will have on another person. I have many people that I feel have touched my life in huge ways by sharing their talents I have benefitted from them in positive ways.
One of those people is Mr. Wolfinden. he was a new teacher full of enthusiasm. All the students loved him. One thing that sticks out in my mind is how he let everyone express themselves freely. I remember his love for math one of my weakest subjects. One assignment was when he had everyone in the class make up math problems for the rest of the class to do. When it was my turn a few girls in the class complained to our teacher that my math sheet was difficult to fill out because I had put a little box around each problem.
Without missing a beat he said there will be no complaining about how each person does their worksheet for the class. I found the assignment I made for the class years later. I would have to agree with the girls I did a terrible job on the worksheet, yet my teacher Mr. Wolfinden gave me confidence in our classroom.
Another assignment that sticks out in my mind with this wonderful teacher was when he wanted to help us understand the idea of how much a million is. He had everyone in their free time put four lines down with another line going across so we could count to a million by fives. When we would fill up a piece of paper using tally marks we would staple the paper on the bulletin board. It took us weeks to count to one million using this method of counting. When we finished we had one million tally marks. When you teach with creativity and passion your students will learn volumes.
In a world with more than seven billion people, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of one. There are so many people who have so many gifts and talents who are already doing so many things that are so helpful and inspiring, who needs me? What can I as one person contribute to the needs of our world, our church and community? The truth is, you are unique, the only you in all the world. Nobody can do the things that God has called you to do better than you at this moment.
Edward Everett Hale puts it this way:
I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything;
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something
that I can do.
There is only one you. You’re the only person with your exact life with your set of circumstances and events on your journey that have brought you to this hour on this planet. You’re the only one with your personal convictions, your makeup, your skills, your appearance, your touch, your voice, your style, your surroundings, you’re the only one. My passion is essential oils, I choose to help one person, one family, one community at a time with this amazing gift from the earth, and you can make your mark in the world as well. Go do the right thing.