Dear Younger Me,
If I was to ask you about your gifts, I know there is one that would come to mind straight away: music. For a while now people have been praising you for this. It’s become what you’re known for.
And you have done well. You’ve worked hard to develop your gift, there have been some great performances, and getting a distinction in your Grade 8 exam was a brilliant achievement. I sometimes wish I could recapture the dedication and determination you showed that year. Music has also brought you a lot of joy.
I need to give a word of warning though. Please don’t let your gift become what defines you.
There is so much more to you than just success in music, and I worry that you’re letting too much rest on that – looking to it for your hope, your fulfilment, your identity…
I don’t mean to criticise because I know it’s been what’s helped you through, and there are many worse things you could have turned to. It’s been a fairly innocuous idol, but an idol all the same.
And one day, pretty soon, you’re going to recognise the futility of placing your hope in it.
That realisation won’t be easy but let me reassure you: you’ll get through it. In fact you’ll learn to find joy in music again, and it will come to have a much healthier place in your life.
You’ll come to understand that our gifts come from God, and that their purpose is not to give us something to base our identity and sense of worth on, but to enable us to bless others.
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)
Eventually, once you gain this perspective, you’ll discover other gifts you never knew you had, like public speaking…
Yes, I know you don’t believe me, but just wait and see!
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “gift.”
You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.