As adults, my three nephews make beautiful music together, but that hasn’t always been the case. When they were pre-teens, their mother insisted they each take piano lessons for at least three years. As with most siblings, each brother pursued other individual interests, and only the oldest continued to study the instrument after the required three years. Jealousy and frustration sometimes dominated their adolescent years. Musical, athletic, and intellectual gifts often fought against each other. However, today these three brothers have honed their individual gifts and learned to work with, not against, each other. A tenor, a baritone, and a bass can create a harmonious sound that cannot be created alone.
Why do we find ourselves divided over so many issues in today’s society? A group of individuals with unique talents can fuse together to create a much stronger team. A student recently wrote to an advice columnist about the unfairness of another student getting all A’s without studying while he had to study hard to receive C’s. The columnist replied that the student should work as hard as he could and realize his other non-academic gifts. He went on to say that if everyone became rocket scientists, who would plow the fields? If everyone sold real estate, who would design clothes?
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, that we all have unique gifts. When I think of a Downs Syndrome child or a handicapped individual with a positive attitude, I am inspired to complain less about what I can’t do and focus more on what I can do. Instead of opposing people who are different, we should find common ground in our diversity.
Even though my nephews have all pursued different interests, they continue to enjoy music. They still thank their wise mother for insisting on those early years of piano lessons. Family holidays are always enhanced with music. The piano keyboard, the bass guitar, and the acoustic guitar join together with a percussion box and a violin to create a symphony of diverse talents that have learned to blend together in harmony with each other.