Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Karaoke Contentment

So last week I wrote this great post about gifts and talents. And like one or two other posts I've written about gifts and talents, I mentioned that singing is not my gift. I wish it was, but it's not.

This is the last time I'll mention it. Promise. Because I've had an epiphany!

On Friday night, I had the pleasure of accompanying one of my friends to an evening of karaoke at a local establishment. I'd never been to this place before, and I haven't done any karaoke in a few years. My first song? "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield. And, yes, I'm aware of the highly inappropriate nature of the song. My apologies. But Dusty Springfield is a total crowd-pleaser!

After I finished singing, I got some high-fives from a few tables, and I returned to mine, where my friends congratulated me heartily. Then an older gentleman came over to our table and asked if I sang any Janis Joplin. I said that I could, but some of her songs are a little low for me. He said that he was going to put my name in for a Janis Joplin song, and would I sing one for him?

OK, Perfect Stranger. I'll totally sing a Janis Joplin song for you.

He didn't tell me which one he picked, and, as it turned out, he didn't actually pick one. I had to go up to the DJ and make my choice. I chose "Piece of my Heart," as it's a little higher than "Me and Bobby McGee" (although that's one of my all-time favorite songs).

When it was my turn, I got up and sang. I thought it went OK. But the crowd went nuts! They sang along, they got out their lighters and held them up, and I got a standing ovation at the end. There was even a big hug from the guy who'd asked me to sing, and he thanked me for singing for him.


Then as I was on my way back to my seat, a girl stopped me, held my hands in hers, looked straight into my eyes and said, "You have a really beautiful voice, you know." I jokingly said, "Thanks, but I guess that depends on how much you've had to drink." She laughed and said, "I haven't had that much. You're the one who sang 'Son of a Preacher Man,' right?" I said yes, and she said, "Then, yes. You have a lovely voice. I really enjoyed listening to you sing." I thanked her profusely and went back to my table.

The next day, as I was regaling the events for my not-much-for-karaoke husband, I felt God speak to my heart. He said:

Rachel, you have a talent for singing. You do have a lovely voice. Everyone in that room knew it. It's just not my gift for you.

A-ha! I see. So you can have a talent for something, but it's not necessarily your gift. It may not be the thing God uses in your personal ministry. It may not be the thing that you make a life out of. It's just kind of a—a bonus, so to speak. I knew that, but I felt like, since singing wasn't my gift, I must not have a real talent for it. But that's just not true.

Secondly, I'm amazed that God can use a bar full of people to make that point. Isn't he cool that way? Perhaps I'll be a local karaoke superstar in my spare time, but I won't ever be a worship leader or a Broadway star or make a life for myself as a singer. But that's OK. Because I'm a good singer. My Creator told me so.

I can definitely live with that.

What minor talents do you have that you need to learn to be content with?


  1. Gee, if it took a bar full of people to confirm what I've already told you...

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Great post my friend, I used to long to be center stage....now I enjoy singing without a spotlight. Funny but I'm still not convinced that I am aware of my gifts, but I trust that He will show me the path upon which I should walk as I arrive at each point.

  3. It sounds like you had a wonderful time!

  4. Oh girl...I LOVE to sing...I love it so much that I don't want others to say I can't sing so I don't sing in front of many people. Then God did this thing and sort of made me do it for a while. LONG story, but I realized something too...

    Just because I LOVE it and feel God smiling when I do it, doesn't mean He is calling me to lead worship or sing in a band or something like that.

    It just means it is one way that I get to worship Him...Sometimes talents are just for us to give back to God... ;)

  5. What a lovely story to read about you - so positive and uplifting ...
    YouTube sometime soon, your own praise vlogging right there in your nav bar!!!

  6. Great point! I would love to have been in that crowd. I think sometimes we have confused talent and gift in the Christian realm and to our detriment. Thanks for sharing.


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