Last Sabbath afternoon we had another of our memorable gospel sing-alongs at a retirement center not far from our church. These are very non-scripted events, and each one turns out differently. We bring as many guitarists as possible—there were two on Sabbath, including me—and we hope that kids from our church will show up as well, because I can often cajole them into singing or playing on an instrument if they brought one with them.
This past Sabbath we were kind of thin on kids. In fact the only ones I think were there were a mom, a daughter and a younger son. Sure enough, I was able to get them to sing a song together for us, even the son (who required a bit of persuasion). They did their song, and we applauded them enthusiastically, and I was about to lead some group singing when suddenly the son, whose name is Santiago, appeared beside me and asked me in my ear if he could sing a solo.
“Santiago, you want to sing a solo?” I asked. “Sure you can sing a solo!” And he sang “Who’s the King of the Jungle?” (the punch line is always, “J-E-S-U-S, He’s the king of the jungle, and He’s the king of me!”) Again we applauded madly.
After that when I was trying to convince people to come up and sing a solo or duet, I would tell them, “Remember the Spirit of Santiago!” And that rallying cry gave birth to a truly wonderful impromptu ladies’ quartet.
I think what you and I need is to pray for more of the Spirit of Santiago—the attitude that says, “Yes, I think I could do that! Let me try!” rather than “No, I’m not talented in the least. I’m just going to stay right here in my chair. I’ll be the audience. Ask someone else.”
We’re not all good at everything, of course. But we don’t have to be. There’s no record that when Jesus was searching for disciples He only wanted singers or harp-players or professional speakers. What He wanted was willing hearts. Because after all, it is He who gives the “spiritual gifts,” the willingness and the inherent talents which the Holy Spirit can use powerfully.