Wasted Talent…

Piano“It’s so sad.” Said the stranger standing next to me in Washington Square. Leaning into me in a whisper she continued her thought, “Such a waste of talent.”

The talent she referred to was a man entertaining a growing crowd of fifty or more people as he playing a grand piano in this historical park of New York City.

Her words lingered on my mind for weeks. I had questions and comments I wish I would have replied with at the very moment she leaned into me.

I would have asked:

Why do you think his talent is wasted?

If you were him, how would you leverage your talent better?

What are you doing with the strengths, talents, and gifts that God has given you?

I do not know this man’s story, but personally, I was blown away by the confidence and courage he had to play the piano in the middle of New York City inviting others to participate. When he wasn’t given a venue, he created one for himself. His love for sharing music with the world ran so deep, he went to the lengths of transferring a grand piano into the middle of a park with no guarantee that anyone would stop and listen or drop a tip in his hat. It was obvious to me that this musician stewarded his gifts and talents with his heart, soul, and mind. Secretly, I envied his determination, his passion, and his guts.

But the world does see it this way. The world has a crooked view of how gifts and talents should be used. If they are not on a stage, if they don’t put your name in lights or a build you a fortune then somehow your talent is “wasted”. These ideas are dream killers. They teach us that if our gifts are not utilized in a certain way, they are not valuable and should not be bothered with.

This past week I was in Nashville. Some of the best talent I saw was not the people walking the red carpet at the CMA Awards or living in a mansion in the rolling hills of Tennessee but the nameless individuals who were doing what they were created to do in small venues behind the big scene. Some of them as it turned out had written the #1 hits that other people sang but you would never know it by looking at them or hearing their name. Did this make their talent wasted?

Like the piano player in Washington Square, these music artists were bringing joy and light by sharing their gifts with the world.

I wonder if you have dreams that have been smashed because of other peoples beliefs of how you should use them. It is time to step out and be all that God created you to be!

Don’t allow the boundaries of other people’s words to stop you from living your dreams!

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