Dr. Batsell Barrett Baxter once told me about a cute kid who edged in next to him one Sunday after his sermon and whispered, “I wisht I wuz you!”
It’s not just kid stuff. Many adults have enviously eyed someone who seemed to have it all and thought, “I wish I was you!”
For some reason, which escapes me, movie stars and sports celebrities are often idolized.
Don’t misunderstand. These high-profile superstars are important—not because of their talent for mimicking someone they’re not, and not because of their ability to run, throw, catch, kick, shoot, jump, or skate. They’re important because God made them and loves them.
You are important for the same reasons: God made you and loves you.
You are who God wants you to be. If he had wanted you to be Martin Luther, Meryl Streep, or Tom Brady, he could have pulled it off.
But he made you who he wanted you to be. There is no one else in the world like you. Never has been. Never will be. You are an original. One-of-a-kind. You’re the only you in the world. He made you who you are, and he loves you as you are.
You are special. You occasionally encounter those who think they are more important than you—people who have an exaggerated sense of their importance. Do you ever cool your heels way past your appointment time? The implication is, “My time is more valuable than yours. I’m more important than you.” Or, “I have a higher position than you;” “I’m better-known than you;” “I have more money than you.”
Don’t be intimidated into a feeling of insignificance or unimportance by such arrogance. Great people recognize the worth of all people.
The distinguished orchestra conductor, Leonard Bernstein, was once asked, “What is the most difficult instrument to play?” He answered, “Second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second chair with as much enthusiasm, now that’s a problem.”
Paul wouldn’t have gotten to first base without second fiddles. He did his rookie preaching in Damascus. Some radical Jews, irritated by his conversion, conspired to assassinate him. They kept an eye on the city gates, determined to drop him in his tracks the minute he set foot outside Damascus. But a cadre of disciples did an end-run on them—at an obscure site on the city wall, they lowered Paul to the ground in a big basket. He hit the ground running—and you know the rest of the story.
Who were the members of this basket brigade? No one knows. Not a single name is recorded—just a bunch of second fiddles who saved the life of the man who became Christianity’s best-known spokesperson.
In the last chapter of Romans, Paul salutes some special people. He mentions twenty-seven by name—most of whom are mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. A bunch of second fiddles.
Do you consider yourself a second fiddle? It’s not a bad thing to be. The early church wouldn’t have survived without them. Neither will today’s church.
Measure your value by how you use your abilities, however small, rather than by comparison with others’ abilities, however large.
Let me say it again—there’s no one else in the world like you. Never has been. Never will be. You are an original. One-of-a-kind. You’re the only you in the world. He made you who you are, and he loves you as you are.