Saturday, May 22, 2021

God can make something of your life.

Apparently it is a true story that in a particular city in the United States of America an advertisement appeared on posters around the streets which announced that a great violinist would play in a certain theatre.  The attraction, which whetted the appetite of many people, was that he would play on a violin worth a thousand dollars (a huge sum of money in those days).  The people packed into the theatre and it was soon filled with the most beautiful music which enraptured the audience and it was a wonderfully exquisite experience.  People were so glad they had come to the theatre and paid the entry price. It was all worthwhile.

Then the whole atmosphere changed because suddenly, to the alarm of the people and to the consternation of everyone in the audience, the musician stopped playing and threw down the violin onto the stage floor. His actions, so unexpected, were done with such violence and it was all compounded as he stamped on the violin and crushed it to pieces and walked off the stage. He left what seemed to be just a mound of broken parts and there was stunned silence as the shocked audience looked on in horror.  They tried to assimilate what had happened and why such a gifted musician had done such a dreadful act.  Some people thought that he must have lost his mind and become deranged in some way to have deliberately destroyed such a beautiful instrument which had cost so much. It all seemed such a waste.   

The manager of the theatre then came onto the stage with an explanation, which turned out to be very straightforward.  He addressed the audience and much to the relief of everyone said the following words, “Friends, the violinist has not been playing on the thousand-dollar violin yet.  The instrument you have heard was one he bought at a second-hand shop for just 65 cents.” It had cost less than one dollar and clearly, the violin had not been made by a master or a well-known company and no doubt had seen better use. It was probably the type of instrument that school children practice on as they try desperately to scratch out some sort of tune.  Yet in the master violinist’s hands, the music produced had been beautiful and uplifting and deeply appreciated by the audience.

Thankfully the manager then went on to say, “He will play on the thousand-dollar violin now.”  So out came the violinist onto the stage, and after a glance at the people seated before him, started to play again, and as before, the music was heavenly but here is the point, most people in the audience that day could not tell the difference.  The strains coming from either instrument seemed equally inspiring.  Both produced exquisite sounds that uplifted the spirits for all who were listening. The musician had simply wanted to show them that it is not the violin that made the music but the violinist.  Whether it was a cheap instrument from an unknown maker or an expensive violin from a famous maker the most beautiful sound was due to it being played by a master musician. The importance was in the competency of the player not the make or model of the instrument. Such a gifted musician could make wonderful music from the most battered, well worn, old and cheap instrument as well as the polished, expensive model.

How do we view ourselves?  As we compare ourselves to celebrities, advanced academics, gifted sportsmen, great entertainers, successful businessmen, high achievers we might be tempted to think that we are just like 65 cent violins.  We seem to be inherently worthless, leaving no real legacy of influence and not making much of a mark upon anything we do. 

Yet God is a master musician as it were and can take anyone and make their lives worthwhile and give them an eternal significance.  In the early church, He did not choose the wise, the influential or the rich but simple, hard-working fishermen and called them to be His disciples.  They turned out to be social and spiritual transformers who were described as people who ‘turned the world upside down’. Yet that power came not from them - they were just the instruments.  It came from Almighty God whom they had got to know through Jesus Christ His Son.

Those simple fishermen with no academic qualifications stood before the learned people of their day and were unafraid.  They spoke with authority and logic and with a wisdom that confounded their enemies.  It gave them boldness to stand before the highest courts of the day and present their message effective.  The leaders listened and were amazed at the boldness of apostles such as Peter and John.  They described them as “unschooled, ordinary men” and then they realised that they “had been with Jesus.”  He was the source of their power and under His control, they were able to be significant and undertake important work for God.  The Lord wants to do something beautiful in all our lives and give us purpose and meaning if we will only let him.

Messages with Meaning (22/05/21) Written by Paul Young for Your542Day

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