Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV)
No positive or real knowledge about the origins of a violin are known. It is, indeed, an ancient instrument, that has received successive changes in its dimensions, materials, components, and shape–not to mention its name. Some say it originated from the Arabs, and others claim it was the Europeans. Whatever the case, as time went on, more experiments on the shape of the violin were performed, so as to improve sound, tone, form, and richness of sonority. But none of the experiments could improve the violin as that which was produced by the 17th century Italian master craftsmen known as Stradivarius and Amati.
Now when I learned to play the violin in 2008, my mother bought me a lovely violin. I loved playing it, though that didn’t really mean that I was any good at it–it was only the fact that I was fulfilling an old dream of mine. It was a summer, so I had time to work at it, and was encouraged by my teacher to continue practicing and playing the violin despite the fact that I was going to school full time at the time. Then came the day I had to return to school and take the “hard” engineering classes. I put the violin away, promising to myself that I would practice at least three times a week. At first I placed it within reach, in my room. But somehow it ended up in the closet.
Two house moves and a graduation later, I retrieved my violin case from under my bed, for I had enrolled in a class and I wanted to get in shape by playing some scales. I opened it and saw to my horror that it was in a terrible, terrible state! The tailpiece was askew, the chinrest had come off, the varnish scratched, the gut holding the tailpiece to the end button had burst, the bridge was nowhere to be found. The violin had lain in an abject state of neglect for four years. It was unplayable, and only with the help of a violin guru was I able to get it back to playing condition.
Still, the guru could do nothing about my poor playing, for I need not say that I lost all the skill I had had before.
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Whatever is your talent, use it.
There is no way make up for the lost time, or for the opportunities you missed in which you could have given glory to God and advanced his kingdom in some way.