Articles by Stan Dean

Second Fiddles

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We all tend to admire the movers and shakers of society. There are people in every field who are gifted and find their way into the limelight for their contributions and outstanding leadership ability. However, every person that stands in the limelight would probably not be there if not for several others who stand behind him or her in the shadows. In keeping with the Alex Haley quote, “Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”

Whether we think so or not, supporting roles can be (and usually are) just as important as the lead roles. The only difference is the amount of recognition- - but that is where our egos come into play. Some folks are self-assured and do not seek praise, but others crave as much as they can get.

The late Leonard Bernstein, an American composer and conductor, was once asked, “Which instrument is the most difficult to play?” After considering the question for a moment answered, “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm- that is the problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”

“Second fiddle” has become a catch phrase in our vocabularies, referring to someone who serves in a secondary or supporting role. Again, the very word “second” bothers some, because “first” is the only word that counts to them. To them, second fiddle equals second rate.

But have you ever considered that there are many people in the Bible that could rightly be deemed “second fiddles,” but yet were great contributors to God’s work? One that immediately comes to mind is John the Baptist. It was prophesied hundreds of years before his birth that he would occupy a “second fiddle” position to Christ (Isaiah 40:3). His life’s mission was to “Prepare the way of the Lord” and his message was, “He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry” (Matthew 3:3, 11). Although John never spotlighted himself, who would ever doubt his contribution to the work of God?

The bottom line for you and me is this: whether our talents put us in the limelight or not, as long as we use them to God’s glory, no one is considered “second rate” by Him! Hence, do not fret over what you cannot do- - do your best at what you can do! Every talent is of equal importance to our Maker!


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