Candles flickered beneath the church’s stained-glass windows on Christmas Eve 1991. Just a month shy of my eleventh birthday, I wore a cream-colored robe and perched next to my mom in the adult choir. I sang a solo while Grandma and Grandpa Simpson watched in the congregation.
Later that night in front of my family’s Christmas tree, Grandpa shared wisdom with me. “Keep singing. You have a gift and you need to make sure you keep singing.”
I listened as much as a kid who’s excited about the Lego train she and her brother were getting the next morning can listen. It was one of the last conversations I’d have with my grandpa.
He died eight days later.
I’ve continued singing, and it gave me fun experiences with musicals and show choir in high school. It helped me achieve my dream of attending Taylor University. Singing took me to Russia, New York, Colorado, and all over the Midwest. It allowed me to bless friends and family at weddings and funerals.
I believe God led my grandpa to speak those words to me before he died because God knew how much music would impact my life. Lately I’ve been considering the bigger message behind my grandfather’s words that can apply to all of us: Keep using your talent.
Sometimes we surrender too easily to discouragement and fail to use our God-given gifts as much as we could. We compare ourselves to others, get disheartened, and quit. We may even feel the sting of criticism and decide continuing is not worth the pain.
In the midst of this negativity, we forget that God gave us the exact amount of talent for what he wants us to accomplish. We don’t remember that even though we may not be as good as someone else, we can still use the gifts we’ve been given to influence people wherever we are. We don’t have to be someone else.
No matter what, we must keep singing.
Lord, thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the talents you have given each one of us. May we use them for your glory.