I believe that the talents with which we have been given are not the ones that immediately come to mind. I believe that the outward, obvious examples of talents are not themselves talents, but expressions of what we have done with the talents with which we have been blessed. I believe that the world is not seasoned by a select few people with talent. I believe that we have completely misunderstood what is meant by a talent, and what it means when a person is particularly successful in one venue or another.
When people refer to my ability to play the piano as a talent they are sorely mistaken. They disregard the hours, days, years of my life I have spent on the bench. They neglect the struggle it was for me to master an instrument bigger than myself. They slight my efforts to convey strong emotions without drowning in them. They negate the lifetime to which I have dedicated myself to my music, and the gallons of tears I have shed when I fell short. I’ll be honest, it’s a little insulting.
When people make reference to my “musical talent” they also write themselves out. They let themselves off the hook, and try to pass it off as though they just haven’t been blessed with the same talent. They assuage their own envy by saying it wouldn’t have been possible for them to achieve the same thing, since they have not been so blessed with that specific talent.
It is true that I have been blessed with talent. It’s just that I haven’t been blessed with the specific talent to play the piano. I was blessed with the opportunity to play the piano. I was blessed with a proclivity toward music. I was blessed with a supportive family. I was blessed to have some really spectacular teachers (to whom I wish I had paid much more attention.)
Talents are not allocated so specifically. The Lord did not dole out a certain number of pianists, a certain number of orators, a certain number of surgeons. The talents He generously distributed are much broader, allowing us to use our own resources and personalities to create something beautiful out of ourselves. As for me, the talent with which I have been blessed is not piano, or even music. It is perserverance. And it is through perserverance that I’ve been able to do so much. We each have the talents we need to make our life’s work, our masterpieces, ourselves. It is for that I am eternally grateful.