A little Italian boy named Antonio loved music. The problem was, whenever he tried to sing, it came out so badly that his friends laughed at him. Besides singing, the boy loved the sound of the violin. He had a pocketknife he always carried with him and he would whittle all sorts of things with it. One day Antonio learned that the greatest violin maker in all Italy, Nicolo Amati, lived in his village! Antonio began to whittle a violin and worked for many hours on it. When finished, the boy walked to the house of Amati, who just happened to answer the door. The boy handed the master the small violin he had carved and said, “Sir, I love music, but cannot sing. I wish with all my heart I could learn to make violins.” The great Amati smiled, looked at the small gift and said, “Beautifully done! You want to make violins? And so you shall! In time your violins will make the most beautiful music ever heard!” And so, Antonio Stradivari became the pupil of Nicolo Amati and in time made violins. To this day Stradivari violins are considered to be the most valuable and best sounding in existence.
Like Antonio, too often we try to fit into the mold others have laid for us. It rarely fits. Other times we try to force ourselves to be something we are not. It rarely works out. In the church, not everyone has the ability to lead singing. Not everyone has the ability to preach well. Not everyone has the ability to teach effectively. Not everyone has the patience that comes with conducting Bible studies. Sadly, sometimes people seek the spotlight and glory that can come with some of these roles. How spiritually dangerous this is (Matthew 6:1-8). Now, while we all can improve in these areas, sometimes we take it so far that we go against the grain; we ignore where our true talents are. So the question is, where do we fit?
This seems to be exactly what Paul was talking about when he said not everyone can be an ear, or everyone an eye (1 Corinthians 12:14f). We need different parts of the church body in order to function smoothly. Just because we may not be in a prominent role doesn’t mean we are insignificant. It may not be in preaching, teaching, song leading, etc, but it could be in encouragement, benevolence, visiting, writing cards, or one of many other ways. If others are encouraged and the Lord’s church benefits, it’s valuable.