I took piano lessons from age nine to seventeen. I diligently practiced each piece my teacher gave me to learn, then moved on to the next and the next, and so on. By eighth grade, my piano teacher arranged for me to audition for a scholarship to a music conservatory. I played a Bach Invention and other pieces I can’t remember. The end result was an offer to study at the music conservatory as a full scholarship student. For the next three years, I studied and played the pieces required for entry to the conservatory once I graduated from high school.
By my senior year, however, I realized I had no talent for music, only a desire to play. There is a difference—a big one. Technically, I was proficient, but the music came from my fingers, not my soul. I then did the only logical thing. I decided to give up the scholarship and pursue a career more suited to my talents. I chose to be a physical therapist and wound care specialist. I pursued both with passion and excitement and I have never regretted my decision.
Each of us has innate talents. This is what makes the world go around but above and beyond our talents, God has given us Gifts through his Holy Spirit. These Gifts are to be used to build up his Church and to spread the Good News. No one has all of the Gifts, though everyone has at least one. These Gifts may change from time to time as the need arises.
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:4 about these Gifts and their purpose: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” (NIV). Gifts of the Spirit are listed in several places in the New Testament and there is some overlapping. Generally, it is accepted that there are eighteen Gifts of the Spirit:
Eight Speaking Gifts: Apostleship, Prophecy, Evangelism, Shepherding, Teaching, Exhortation, Knowledge, and Wisdom.
Six Serving Gifts: Helping, Giving, Administration, Mercy, Faith, and Discernment
Four Sign Gifts: Miracles, Healing, Speaking Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues
No gift is greater than another. Each is important to edify God and His Church. No one should boast of his or her Gift(s). These are given by God, not earned.
In my career in health care, I realized I could combine my talent in this area with the Spiritual Gifts God had given me. I was working with a wound patient in the clinic one day when the patient’s physician stopped by. He watched as I worked. The patient commented as I was applying a rather complex dressing, “She’s done this before.” The doctor smiled and said, “Her hands are touched by God.”
I could have received no greater affirmation that God had placed me where I would be best used. I still love the piano, but God had a different plan for me and equipped me for the work. Praise be to God!
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for your guidance in my life. Help me to always listen to your voice that shows me the way I should go. AMEN