My tall little sister called a few days ago and we talked about some music she’s working on. She sent me a link to it and I loved her part of it (not just because she’s my sister- really! It was good!) but I wasn’t crazy about someone else’s part in it.
The difference was that my sister had a vision in her head for what she felt was beautiful, and was able to convey that through her instrument and onto the recording. One of the lead parts just sounded like she didn’t feel it and was trying to sound like the majority of that genre sounds, and it was absolutely to her detriment because you could tell there was quite a bit of talent locked up in there.
I tried to get “published” in a little local magazine here because it sounded cool but after a few months, I realized that I hated it and wasn’t writing well. Anyone can write fluff and train themselves to sound “a certain way”; but I think that “natural talent” they talk about resides in discovering what you, you know to be beautiful and figuring how to convey that in a way that honors your Creator and points all the beauty you can offer back to His gifting hand.
So my encouragement to you is to sing to God exactly how He made you! Throw yourself into it fully, pursue that sound or that vision, learn how to master it, and share it with people. Put yourself out there because God made you and it’s proof that you’re alive, then turn and give it all back to Him as fully as you can muster. After all, it’s God who created the world, and all the beauty, surprises, colors, and creativity we know in it. I believe that there’s a piece of that creative ability inside of each one of us, too, since we’re made “in the image of God”. It’s almost insulting to squash that gift that He put in us, or try to twist it so it looks like someone else’s when you have the voice to praise Him exactly where you are.
There’s private praise for God and there’s public praise for God, each one important as the other. It would be a shame to worship Him with the multitudes and worship yourself in the sanctuary. But speaking solely to public worship here, I believe that it’s a gift to other people, and praise to Him, to unleash that beauty every person has been endowed with, and throw it up to the sky like a flag in the wind, praising God and asking others to join you.