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Day 157: The Talent that Wasn't

Yes, yes this is the Rolla High School Class of 2000 John Philip Sousa Band Award.
Don't act like you're not impressed. 

The James Taylor concert had me wondering as I have a million times before what would have happened if God had given me musical talent. I have loved music for as long as I can remember, and I tagged along for the success of many talented friends in high school. I was a decent alto saxophone player, can muddle through an intermediate piano tune, and I sort of sung alto (and sometimes tenor if I sat by Doug) in choir. But a musician, I am not.

I used to think I should have been given more musical talent, because I think I could have been a decent performer despite my strong tendency toward introversion. It wasn't until I was at a talk recently that I heard a story that helped me understand why I am not a famous, talented musician.

A speaker relayed a story of a legally blind friend of his, and how he'd asked him if they could pray for healing of his vision. The friend actually said no. He said he considered it a gift to have never struggled with the sin of lust, and that with perfect vision, he probably would have fallen into that. He was grateful to God for his blindness because it helped him grow in virtue and to free him from a dangerous sin.

Hearing and reflecting upon that, I realized that since I tend toward pride, God probably didn't give me exceptional musical talent because it would have led me on a path toward sin and away from virtue.

What He did give me is a great appreciation for music. I love many types of music, though I do have my favorites that I always fall back on. I can appreciate talent even in music I wouldn't necessarily choose. I enjoy different styles and instruments (but come on, harmonicas are the best!). I've sometimes mourned the fact that I just can't get into or appreciate poetry much, but I recently realized that part of my love of music is the poetry that can be found in the lyrics, and even the musical poetry that can be found in the movement of a song or album.

My husband opened my eyes ears to Bob Dylan, the Black Crowes, Leon Russell and so many more, and I consider that a great gift. Music is something that means so much to me and that I am able to share with those I love. So even without the fame, fortune and fun of being a performer, God gave me so much when he gave me music.

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