My wife plays the piano and both of our grown children are gifted musicians. Although I never played any instrument regularly, I enjoy music written by composers and executed by musicians. With Jurassic World in theaters, I am reliving the wonderful scores of the first Jurassic Park by composer John Williams.
The creativity, artistry, and skill of musicians amazes, moves, and inspires me. Take the piano. I just returned from a business trip and saw a custom designed player piano in the main lobby of the Richmond (VA) International airport. I came around a corner and saw this shiny, black structure with a row of black and white keys. Yet under the hands of an artist like Billy Joel (one of my favorites), or one that was pre-programmed in the airport, it becomes alive. I paused, closed my eyes briefly, and enjoyed the sound.
Whenever I listen to a gifted pianist, I am reminded of how God uses me as His instrument. It’s almost as if I am the keys and God is the grand master player. Whatever good and pleasing music comes out of me and enriches others is the direct result of the creativity of God Himself.
I remember the first time I had to speak as a high school athlete at a junior high awards banquet. It was my first foray into being in front of a crowd of younger fellow athletes, coaches, and parents, and I was understandably nervous. I wrote, rehearsed, and memorized my eight-minute speech but still wondered if I would stumble and stutter and look foolish in my effort. Remarkably, I got through it without mistake and received kind words of affirmation from many. I did not have any sort of relationship with God back then, but generally thought I could make a speech again if I had to.
Without becoming cocky, I gave a few more speeches before I realized that I really was an instrument God chose, gifted, and used. My understanding matured to where I viewed myself much like the piano, and God as the great Musician who produced good music in and through me. That realization developed humility and perspective in me. I remember a quote I came across in an old Sports magazine that a pro athlete used as his motivation. It read, ”Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God” by Leo Buscaglia. I have used Leo’s insight for decades to keep me grounded.
Read 2 Chronicles 26:16-20.
I was reminded about this idea of instrumental fruitfulness recently in a church service where the story of King Uzziah was used. The sorry reality was after he became powerful as the ruler of Judah, he also became proud, ignored the priests appointed by God to help Israel, and defied God Himself with his arrogance. His pride led to his downfall as the Lord had to teach him a painful lesson that involved leprosy.
The writer of Chronicles and the rest of the older Testament books intended readers to remember the Lordship of the One True God and not reject His rulership in their lives. I suggest we pay attention and remember as well to be humble before God and honor Him with our available service. Think theologically. He made us to be His instruments. As you get better, avoid pride. Allow Him to make beautiful music in and through us today.
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz