Second Fiddle

Tim Beals

READ : Mark 10:35-45

Whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. (v. 44)

When asked what instrument was most difficult to play, the conductor of a great symphony orchestra replied promptly, “The second fiddle.” He explained, “I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play second violin with enthusiasm – that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”

It’s easy to feel unimportant because our place in life seems small and insignificant. In the great drama of life, we are working behind the curtain while others seem to grace center stage. As part of the supporting cast, our lines seem incidental compared to the words and actions of the major players.

God doesn’t intend that we be content to remain passive. He wants us to be ambitious and industrious – to set high goals for ourselves. Yet he calls many of us, in fact most of us, to fill positions far from the spotlight. He asks us to assume supportive roles.

But he does more. He offers us the potential for true greatness: to live each day in humble service to our relatives, friends, and employers. The second violins teach us an important principle of Christian living: Being great does not depend on what you have, but what you do with what God has given you.


May I serve others as if I were serving you.