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Content to be second fiddle

Second fiddle - I always wondered where that expression originated. I figured it was the person who played fiddle (or a stringed instrument of some type), next to the one who was either the most experienced, or who knew the song the best, with the fastest and most skilled fingering of all the players. Did you know the one who plays second fiddle actually 'supplements' the gifted fiddle-playing of the one in the first position? In today's vernacular, that simple term has come to mean someone in a position of being subordinate or 'less than' the one in the lead. I don't think that was what God had in mind for us - he wants our life to 'supplement the playing' of those he places in our lives - not always seeking to take the lead position, but being very content 'adding to' the music another produces from their lives.

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. (Romans 12:10)

Imagine for a moment being part of a huge orchestra string section. There you are, all decked out in your black suit or dress, shoes nicely polished, and hair tamed in a modest style. All are seated, the conductor takes up his baton, and in a split second every instrument is in position. The silence is almost deafening as the conductor stands at the ready and all eyes are attentive. In an instant the baton is moving and the strings begin to hum out their melodious tune. First 'fiddle' is engaged, second fiddle is keeping pace, filling in the harmonies of the piece. That is us - the ones who add harmony into the lives of another. We bring out the beauty of their life's song by the things we 'add into' their lives. 

Good friends who love deeply are more concerned with what they may contribute into the relationship and not as concerned about what they can get out of it for themselves. I have had moments when I was rolling paint on walls, repairing broken down fences, or cleaning up a sick child's mess - not because the tasks were easy, but because they 'added to' another's life in a way that blessed them. Second fiddle doesn't mean you are meaningless - it means you add significant meaning! There is a depth that is produced in music when the harmony is added to the melody. I had a friend who was very gifted in vocals and she would hear me sing out a song and in a flash she would be adding the perfect harmony to it. She did it all by ear - not any formal training taught her skill - she just 'flowed with it'.

I think God wants us to become proficient at 'flowing with it' in our relationships. To hear the melody of another's life and then begin to add the harmony that supplements it in perfect order. Why? Life is made richer when there is harmony! Sometimes we are 'first fiddle', but more often we might just find ourselves in 'second fiddle' position - don't regret that position, but pour all your effort into adding the best 'harmony' you can produce! In orchestra circles second position is often not sought after as much as the first position, but in terms of what is the greatest 'position' there is no argument - the harmony adds the richness and warmth, brings the highs and lows that give the melody a chance to soar, and creates just the right 'tension' so the most beautiful music is produced. 

What a bland and boring world it would be if it only had 'first fiddle' music produced! Playing second fiddle today? Don't regret it for a moment - it is the best position to play! Just sayin!

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