JUNE 12,  Philippians 3:14


While Carla played at the piano recital, she suddenly forogt the right notes. Embarrassed, she stumbled through the piece as best she could. It’s my first recital, and this happens, she thought as she returned to her seat. I’m quitting!

“Don’t be discouraged,” said her teacher after the recital. “You have a lot of ability, but it takes time to develop it.” Carla’s family agreed and praised her for doing her best, but she was sure she’d never want to play the piano again.

The next day, Carla persuaded her dad to take a bike ride with her. As they rode, Dad asked, “Do you remember when you were learning to ride a bike?”

Carla nodded. “I sure do! I fell a lot,” she said with a giggle. Dad smiled. “Remember the time you hurt your knee and said you’d never get back on the bike again?” he asked. Carla nodded. “But I rode it again that same afternoon,” she said. “Yes, you did,” said Dad with a smile. “You know, honey, in some ways, learning to play the piano is a lot like learning to ride a bike. They both take practice. You were discouraged by what happened at your piano recital yesterday-but don’t give up.”

Carla said nothing, so Dad continued. “I wonder if the Apostle Paul ever felt like quitting. He suffered a great deal as he traveled to spread the Gospel, but he didn’t quit. He said he wanted to forget the past and ‘press on.’ He wanted to keep on doing the things God called him to do.” Dad smiled at Carla. “I think God is pleased when we work hard at developing our talents-especially when we go on to use them for Him.

“But maybe playing the piano isn’t my talent,” responded Carla.

“Well, as your teacher pointed out, you do have a lot of musical ability, honey. You need to keep practicing to see how it develops.” Carla didn’t like to admit it, but she knew her dad was right. When Carla and Dad arrived back home, Carla wasn’t surprised to hear Dad say, “Go in and practice your piano lesson before you play any more this afternoon.”

Carla sighed. She knew she could either practice and enjoy it, or she could practice against her will and be miserable. Quickly she made up her mind. “Okay,” she said quietly. “I will.”


Thought: Are you developing a talent God has given you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me use my talents to serve you. In Jesus’ name, amen.