I have a friend who is a VERY famous musician, all over the world. He is one of the most incredible musicians I have EVER heard. Not only is he phenomenal, but a very intimate lover of Jesus Christ. Let’s call him…” Jelly Bean” or J.B. for short, ok?
Now, J.B. has been internationally known for years, especially in South America, Europe and Eastern countries. This man has been a musician for years. I’d first heard of him several years back, but only got to meet him about two years ago. When I met this guy I was impressed! He was on fire, both musically and spiritually. I did some musical “gigs” with this guy and one thing I heard him constantly imparting into other people was..
” Develop your talents”
The simplicity of this statement is so clear, that it URKS me that people are satisfied with being mediocre in their talents. If this ( whatever it is ) is what you’re called to do, why not put your effort and time into being the very best that you can be at it? Why do we think that excellence is reserved for “extreme” or ” workaholic” types of personalities?
When I sit down with my students and tell them that I, their teacher, not only still do musical exercises, but I do them for hours, they are always surprised! Why? Because they think that once someone gets to a certain level, they don’t have to practice anymore. They are “past” that stage. Pfff! Yeah right! That’s like a Pastor never reading God’s word anymore because he’s already got a congregation.
No matter what you do, you must have a fresh well to draw from. What is the source of that well? Your own personal investment, your own diligence to keep the water moving, fresh and flowing.
What does that mean.. practically? Challenge yourself. Take your skill to a deeper level. A level you haven’t been to before. Educate yourself. Invest in your talents.
For me, I buy music that challenges my skill level. I learn chords that are up until this point, foreign to me. I listen to music that is outside of my “typical” genre. I PRACTICE! I practice even when I don’t want to. As a songwriter, I choose to write songs,about random things sometimes, and often, just to keep that creative vein flowing. I don’t expect every song to be a hit, but I do expect to be very familiar and comfortable with songwriting, because that’s what I do.
J.B. put it something like this.
When you have a stopped learning or challenging yourself in an area, you have sufficiently cut off your influence.
With only a couple “talents” under your belt, coupled by mediocre performance, your are left with limited resources.
“But can’t God use what I have, and make up the difference?”
YES! But look at it this way. If what you already possess equals a couple old guns and maybe a chipped knife or two (we’re talking “spiritual weapons”), then what if you upgraded? What if your investment into your talents created a whole storehouse of weapons to be used? Let’s not be satisfied with ” good enough”, OK? When you apply yourself to learning the “in’s and out’s” and commit to being excellent in your gifting, you have a created a variety of strengths for God to choose from. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to used in any situation that God chooses, and not only succeed, but THRIVE!