The Most Difficult Instrument to Play is Second Fiddle

Leonard Bernstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, was once asked to name the most difficult instrument to play. Without hesitation, he replied: "The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that's a problem; and if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony."

"Humility is a strange thing: the moment you think you have it, is just the moment you have lost it. Only the proud will speak of their humility: the humble confess to having a problem with pride. Until a man is nothing, God can make nothing of him." Anon.

Am I thrilled, zealous and full of enthusiasm to play second fiddle to my Lord (and any others that he chooses)?

In the KJV of the Bible, the word 'leader' is mentioned only six times. The word 'servant' is mentioned more than 900 times. Serving seems to be thought of more highly by Jesus.

In his brilliant book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell tells the strangest story about a guy called Christopher Langan – a genius with a staggering IQ of 195 (Einstein's was 150). In school, Langan could ace any foreign language exam just by skimming the textbook two to three minutes before the test. But Langan never made the most of his amazing ability and ended up working on a horse farm in rural Missouri. According to Gladwell, Langan never had a second fiddler – a community to help him capitalise on his gifts. Gladwell summarises his story in one sentence. "Langan had to make his way alone, and no one – not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses – ever makes it alone."