Just got this great teaching / sermon illustration for Zig Ziglar’s Newsletter. Would be great for a youth sermon or youth talk and addresses a common concern among today’s youth. Many are asking “What is my gift and how can I develop it and use it?” This illustration of a famous whittler provides a fresh perspective on gifts.
Here it is…
He Couldn’t Sing, So He Whittled
Antonio was a lad who lived in Cremona, Italy, during the 17th century. Cremona was a musical town where great acclaim was bestowed on those who could sing or play. Unfortunately, although Antonio wanted recognition for his musical talents, his friends called him “squeaky voice” when he tried to sing. He tried to play the piano and the violin, but his skills were limited.
As Antonio walked through the streets of Cremona with his friends, he listened to their beautiful voices. Unfortunately, the only thing he could do was whittle on a block of wood with his knife. One day, while sitting at the edge of the street, whittling, watching and listening to three of his friends play and sing beautiful songs, he noted that the people passing by frequently dropped coins into their hands to reward their efforts. One gentleman stopped longer than any of the others and even asked them to repeat a song. When they finished, he dropped a coin into the hand of the singer, then moved on down the street. Much to their shock, the boys discovered it was a gold coin, which was quite a bit of money to give a street singer. But the man who gave it could afford to do so. His name was Amati and he was identified as the greatest violin maker in all of Italy.
That evening at home, Antonio thought about Amati and decided that he, too, wanted to become a violin maker. The next morning he went to the home of Amati and persuaded him to let him be his apprentice. For many years Antonio learned from the master and in due time his work became known throughout the whole world.
Antonio’s last name was Stradivari. To this day, musicians still make music from his violins, which now sell for six figures plus.
Take it to the Next Level
If you don’t have the talent you want, use the talent you have and find a way to develop it and refine it.
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