Vocations / Gifts - what if you dislike yours?


#1

Hi guys! Last night in RCIA we discussed Vocations/Gifts - pretty much the group made it sound like these two things are the SAME thing so I'm going to ask my question in this forum.

Here's the deal. I have one of those 'gifts' that is obvious. Everyone can see it and everyone wants to use it. I play the piano. Any church I've ever been in has ended up getting me to play for them.

The problem is this.

Last night at RCIA someone commented that your vocation/gift is your PASSION. It's something you love doing...

I hate playing the piano for church (and for any setting where people will be singing along - it's just not my style of piano and not the music I enjoy). I love playing on my own, but even after YEARS of playing for church I absolutely despise playing for that setting. The mere thought of playing for a congregation makes me really unhappy. I do it because I don't know how to say no, but I've never enjoyed it and I sincerely doubt I ever will.

Here's the flip side. I love singing. I LOVE singing but because I play the piano everyone assumes that's my gift and what I should be doing so I never get the opportunity to indulge in the 'gift' that I DO love.

Can this really be my 'gift' if I hate it so much?

So what happens when your gift is something overtly obvious but you hate it? Is it really what you're called to do?

Any thoughts and/or similar experiences?


#2

Have a mic installed on the piano so that you can sing and play at the same time ;)

Or, join the choir and occasionally sub as the piano player.


#3

Buck up. :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

Right, these were the answers I was expecting but you guys aren't actually anwering the question.

Just because you CAN do something does that honestly mean you're called to do it? Is that TRULY your gift if you despise it?

I can't play and sing. I'm really NOT a good pianist, not even CLOSE. :shrug:


#5

Well, it seems that music in general is your passion; you just don't happen to like being the accompanist (I don't blame you there!). You've hinted that you've played the piano for years, so you must be very talented in music. Since you're in RCIA, you're just entering the Church; maybe once you are in and you get called to do some ministry, you could do whatever you like with music except piano accompaniment; couldn't you? Or maybe you could keep quiet about the piano in RCIA? That way they won't be bugging you right off the bat. Of course, you might just be good at some other kind of service besides music, as well. I mean, I'm an IT professional. But I hate it when people assume that I'll be happy to fix their computers!


#6

[quote="SecretBeliever, post:5, topic:226481"]
Well, it seems that music in general is your passion; you just don't happen to like being the accompanist (I don't blame you there!). You've hinted that you've played the piano for years, so you must be very talented in music. Since you're in RCIA, you're just entering the Church; maybe once you are in and you get called to do some ministry, you could do whatever you like with music except piano accompaniment; couldn't you? Or maybe you could keep quiet about the piano in RCIA? That way they won't be bugging you right off the bat. Of course, you might just be good at some other kind of service besides music, as well. I mean, I'm an IT professional. But I hate it when people assume that I'll be happy to fix their computers!

[/quote]

I've been playing for church for 14 years. Even during my 'dry' period when I refused to speak to God or about God I STILL played for church. Unfortunately I live in a small town and everyone knows me as the pianist for my old church. When I decided to join the Catholic church that was the first thing the people there associated me with; That girl who plays for the United (BTW you should have seen their faces. They couldn't understand why someone so involved in ministry would switch sides - as it were. Haha. That one really confused them - and still does! I keep getting asked if I have a boyfriend or 'friend' who convinced me to join).

I will probably end up being an accompanist here too and I'm okay with that (or I should say resigned to that). I know that if I don't I'll feel guilty because I've been pretty conditioned to doing this. So I'm not asking this question out of some desire to weasle out of my obligations.

I've always thought this WAS my gift. Last night when they made the comment about how your gift is your passion it threw me for a loop!!!! Because I am NOT passionate about being an accompanist. I never have been. I do it because there's a need, not because I enjoy it.

The last six months have been the happiest months of my life because I've been going to church and I haven't had to play! It's been wonderful! This Sunday I will be helping out with the Sunday School group (or whatever it's called? Children's liturgy?) by leading the kid's in song and I'm super excited about that.

I'm really curious to know if there's anyone else with these obvious 'gifts' who feel the same?


#7

dislike???? :eek: you kidding me???? Nothing to dislike about a vocation or gift


#8

I don’t think you have to feel passion every single time you use your gift or talent. You don’t have to have passion in being an accompanist if that’s not your cup of tea, but that does not negate the fact that you have a gift for music or that you can still use your musical gift in other ways that will bring you joy. Not every musician is called to be an accompanist, not everyone that enjoys singing is called to be a cantor. Choirs also need directors or the people that write the music. The lack of passion in playing the piano for others doesn’t mean you do not have a gift that can serve God and benefit others, its just going to look different from the ways you have applied that gift in the past.

My background is in accounting, I love to crunch numbers. With my child’s various activities and clubs that need treasurers, my name always seems to be suggested as the person that should be the treasurer. I hate that position in those types of parents’ clubs. I refuse to use my skill in that capacity. But I love doing the accounting work for our family business.

Its a matter of knowing your boundaries and limits. And knowing you can say “no” when a spot to be an accompanist comes up in the future.


#9

Nicky,

Well, your post after mine sort of clarifies things a bit, and the following one too.

The part where you said "Just because you CAN do something does that honestly mean you're called to do it? Is that TRULY your gift if you despise it?" sort of hits home. Like I said, I'm an IT professional but sometimes I really despise it, and not only when people want me to fix their computer. Sometimes I feel like I wasn't cut out for the job at all. I'm not one of those uber-geeks who spend 24/7 in front of their computer, in fact when I get home from work I hardly like to check email let alone anything else. However, somewhere along the line I got it in my head that I'd like to get into that field, so I went to college and ended up with a 3.96 GPA, summa cum laude, dean's list. I'm not saying this to brag!!! but to say that even with that result from college, I still feel like it's not my vocation, my passion. After I graduated from high school, I decided I was going to be a graphic artist, and I was for a few years. And I loved it! It was ironically only when my job got computerized that I started to "not" like it so much! So yeah, I guess I do feel the same in a way!

Anyway. In your latest post you said, "The last six months have been the happiest months of my life because I've been going to church and I haven't had to play! It's been wonderful! This Sunday I will be helping out with the Sunday School group (or whatever it's called? Children's liturgy?) by leading the kid's in song and I'm super excited about that." So in a way, you are doing what I suggested in my first post, about doing something else besides accompaniment with your music talent.

Back to the first quote I quoted above, you said, "Just because you CAN do something does that honestly mean you're called to do it? Is that TRULY your gift if you despise it?" And again, yep, I wonder the same thing about myself. But I will say that having been in the IT field for several years, it's been very good to me, i.e., God's blessed me in this career field, even though my gut feeling is that I'd rather be doing something else. I sort of feel like: either God let me pursue the IT field even when it's not my "passion" and let me be successful at it, or, it sort of ended up that it is my vocation whether I realize it or not. Does that make sense? I'm always confused too! :confused:


#10

Not everyone will get an oppurtunity to play in church. Just try it once, if u wish continue it otherwise no need.


#11

[quote="nickybr38, post:1, topic:226481"]
Hi guys! Last night in RCIA we discussed Vocations/Gifts - pretty much the group made it sound like these two things are the SAME thing so I'm going to ask my question in this forum.

Here's the deal. I have one of those 'gifts' that is obvious. Everyone can see it and everyone wants to use it. I play the piano. Any church I've ever been in has ended up getting me to play for them.

The problem is this.

Last night at RCIA someone commented that your vocation/gift is your PASSION. It's something you love doing...

I hate playing the piano for church (and for any setting where people will be singing along - it's just not my style of piano and not the music I enjoy). I love playing on my own, but even after YEARS of playing for church I absolutely despise playing for that setting. The mere thought of playing for a congregation makes me really unhappy. I do it because I don't know how to say no, but I've never enjoyed it and I sincerely doubt I ever will.

Here's the flip side. I love singing. I LOVE singing but because I play the piano everyone assumes that's my gift and what I should be doing so I never get the opportunity to indulge in the 'gift' that I DO love.

Can this really be my 'gift' if I hate it so much?

So what happens when your gift is something overtly obvious but you hate it? Is it really what you're called to do?

Any thoughts and/or similar experiences?

[/quote]

What I get from you here is not that you dislike your gift of being able to play the piano well, what you dislike is how others are telling you to use that gift.

It is your gift, it is for you to decide how to use that gift, if you do not like playing it in a setting where others are singing then don't. Say No. No one should feel forced into any position at Church. If you like to sing, join the choir or be a cantor.


#12

I see two things from your posts:

  1. You love music, just not the way everyone has been asking you to use your musical gifts in church.

and 2. You like to do music with the kids.

Those statements are very telling. It would seem to me that you might want to channel your energy into music for your parish's children's ministry. That is my plan.

I came into the church last year and I was asked to sing in the choir. But I always get asked to do that and I didn't want it to interfere with my ability to help the children's ministry. So, I politely declined the invitation to join the choir and let the new priests and the musical director know that I would be working in my keyboarding skills, but I'm doing it for the kids, not for the actual Mass.

I hope this helps and welcome to the Church!

Wendy


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.