in oneself? Do we do it enough? I have been reminded lately of the need to feel gratitude not only for the things we have been blessed with, but also for the spiritual gifts we have been given. And with that gratitude, we need to show sufficient faith to rely on our abilities.
I had an experience recently that required such a leap of faith in myself. We were in California, it was the afternoon before Evelyn's Blessing Day, and it was time for a practice for the musical number to be presented in church the next day. Josalyn's sister, Alysse, a recording artist that has released 3 CDs with piano extraordinaire, Marvin Goldstein, was to be the vocalist. She would be accompanied by a violinist and my son, Robert, on the piano.
Robert hadn't looked at the music yet, which usually isn't a problem because he is a gifted musician. His ability to play by ear and improvise and embellish usually always allows him to shine even without practice.
I knew something was wrong when he came to me with a look of uncertainty. "Mom, you're a better sight reader than me. I don't think I can do this." What?!
I was so enjoying my trip to California, spending time with my grandbaby, drinking in the amazing hospitality of Robert's inlaws, WHY would I want to ruin it with anxiety over a musical number? My first instinct was NO! I can't do that! There were so many obstacles fighting against me, and they had nothing to do with the 5 flats in the Key Signature. The music was arranged by Marvin himself, with all his signature flourishes and runs, my eyesight has gotten so bad that I can't play the piano without glasses and all I had with me were tiny reading glasses, AND I didn't want to do anything to embarrass my son, daughter-in-law, and her wonderful family.
I took the leap. I said yes even though everything in my body was screaming otherwise. After perhaps an hour of practice on the piano, which included the time with the other two musicians, I felt no better, but I knew that was all the practice I would be able to have. It was time to rely on the Lord.
Did I play all the notes? No. Were there mistakes? Only ones that Marvin and I would know about. But I was able to help contribute to a powerful musical number that invited the Spirit to touch hearts that day. I did what I could, and then I turned it over to the Lord in faith. We often pray to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. That day I was. I felt inadequate, ill-prepared, and very thankful for answered prayers and an opportunity to use a spiritual gift.