A budding young soloist went to a great Italian musician for voice training. The master handed him a piece of music and said, “Practice this for one full year and then return here.” The request seemed a bit strange, but for the next twelve months the young man faithfully did his practicing.
At year’s end, he returned to the musician, confident that the master would change his assignment and give him a new, higher grade of music to learn. But it didn’t happen. The master simply said, “Practice the same piece for another year and then return here.”
Somewhat discouraged, the young singer returned home and begrudgingly rededicated himself to his task. For twelve more months he practiced that same piece of music over and over again. Then he returned again to the musician. As he went, he thought, “Surely this time I will be given a new piece to learn.”
Once again, however, the master instructed him to work at the same piece of music for another year and then return. But this time the young man objected. He said, “No, I want to practice something new. I have worked hard, and I deserve to move on up to a more advanced lesson.” Stubbornly, though, the master held his ground, saying, “No, my son, the same lesson this year.”
So now the young man had a decision to make. Should he continue to trust in the great musician and keep practicing the same piece of music? Or should he question the musician’s expertise and seek training elsewhere? Two long years had come and gone. The young singer had worked hard and done as he was told, but he wasn’t seeing any fruit for his labors. Maybe it was now time to cut his losses with the supposed master and change everything.
The young man pondered the issue for quite some time, but in the end he decided to stick with the great musician’s training. So he went back to practicing the same old lesson and faithfully worked at it for yet another year. Then he returned to the master.
But this time the singer wouldn’t be given any more preparatory assignments. Instead, the great musician simply looked at him and said, “Go, my son. You have nothing more to learn.” The young man was both shocked and relieved, but he took the master at his word and began auditioning for singing parts. He nailed performance after performance, no matter how difficult the song, and eventually he rose to become the leading singer in all of Italy.
How was such a thing possible? It was possible because that one piece of music that the singer had so faithfully practiced all those years held within it a certain combination of notes, and that combination had allowed his vocal cords to be developed to perfection. The master, of course, had known this all along.
Christian, it may be that God has had you working on the same assignment for years now. And it also may be that you have grown very tired of singing it. So you’ve begun to long for something new, something different, something that will break you out of your rut. Perhaps you are right now even contemplating going off and doing your own thing because you are tired of living the life in which God has stationed you.
Well, let me ask you this: Could it be that for the past several years God has faithfully been preparing you to do great and mighty works for Him in the future? And, furthermore, could it be that even now your spiritual “vocal cords” are almost perfectly trained to handle these great works? You see, at this point, the last thing you need to do is short-circuit God’s whole plan by foolishly abandoning your master’s training and making some change that you shouldn’t make.
Call this a warning. Call it a word of encouragement. Call it what you will. But just know that God never sends out His servants unprepared, and if He still has you working on the same old assignment, then your training must not be fully completed yet. You ask, “How much longer will it be?” I don’t know. All I know is that there will come a day when God will send you forth to put all of your training to incredible use for Him.