“A Good-Enough Gift,” Ensign, Mar. 2005, 35
I have enjoyed singing for as long as I can remember, though I’ve never considered mine a solo voice that could enrapture listeners. Still, I have a good ear for pitch and have always felt I was a good “blender,” singing the second soprano or alto harmony. One Christmas I discovered that I had not valued the gift as I should have.
I was sitting in the choir seats during the second night of Messiah performances by a group I had sung with for more than 20 years. Each time I have joined in the choruses of Handel’s magnificent oratorio, I have felt the confirmation of the Spirit that comes with singing about our Savior.
This time, as I sat listening to one of the soloists sing an aria in her beautiful soprano voice, I thought admiringly, “How would it be to have a voice like that?” The thought was immediately followed by another that felt like a gentle reproach: “No, that is her gift. You have the gift to sing the alto part with the chorus. It is a good gift, too.”
I realized immediately that this was true. Not only was my voice a good gift, but it was also a good-enough gift. If I had the solo voice, I would not be singing with the choir. I would not be able to join in the tight harmonies of “Since by Man Came Death” or the exultant declarations of “Wonderful! Counsellor! the Mighty God! the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” in “For unto Us a Child Is Born.” I would not be singing the glorious strains of “Hallelujah!” or “Amen.” If I had a different kind of voice, I would miss the opportunity to be part of the magnificent sound surrounding me as the choir sang those choruses. I would be missing much.
I learned in those few moments that it is all right to admire others’ gifts as long as doing so is not at the expense of appreciating our own. There is great wisdom in being content to serve with what we have, whether it be the place we live, the people we live with, the kind of work we do, or the various talents we have been given. We need to “remember that every good gift cometh of Christ” (Moro. 10:18). We also need to recognize that our gifts not only are good but, because they have been carefully chosen for us, are good enough.