I played second fiddle for almost 8 years of my life. Through junior high and high school I fell just short of being the best. I was almost evenly matched, but not quite. For a few weeks in there I played first fiddle but I can probably count them on one, maybe two hands.
Our rivalry lasted 8 years and was somewhat of a legend during our time in school. 8 years of dueling in front of the same 60 people does that. 8 years of sharing first stand in the viola section. As time went on I began to lose more often.
Can I say I lost when losing still meant 2nd place? Yes, I lost. I began to lose my joy in playing. I tried almost my best and slowly gave up. My rival seemed to have to win. I lacked that competitive drive or maybe I just got tired of trying my best and coming up short. Or maybe I just wasn’t as talented?
In my adult life, I prided myself on not being competitive. I didn’t have to win like some other people. I enjoyed the activity more than the outcome. But, every time I got upset during competitive situations I faced more of the truth. I am competitive.
Being second fiddle is a place of longing. Longing to be first, to be recognized, to be better than, yet knowing the judgement has come down. I’d been found wanting. I consoled myself that I would’ve won if I’d tried harder but he wanted it more. Second best? It sure feels better to say I just didn’t try.
Unique. One of a kind. Valuable. So much is competition and it seems so ingrained in my soul. To not rank, to not measure, feels wholly bizarre at times! The body passages gain more ground these days as I think about unique. Unique functions, unique places, unique value and purpose but altogether important to each other to work properly. More and more, unique is becoming the lens I desire to see others and myself through.
How do you uniquely contribute to the body of Christ? How can you encourage the uniqueness of others?