ODJ: Burning Your Instrument

August 25, 2016 

READ: Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 

Whatever you do, do well (v.10).

As I watched a talent show on TV, I was greatly impressed by a gifted musical group. Collectively, the musicians played more than 15 different instruments. Videos of their spirited blend of Irish-influenced music and dance consistently go viral. The 12 siblings who comprise the uber-talented Willis Clan have appeared on other television programmes, and they even have their own successful reality TV show.

One night as my son and I headed home after seeing the group in concert, he said wistfully, “I wish I’d done something with my life.” Amused, I looked at him and said, “Dude. You’re 12!” “Yeah, but they’re just so good!” he replied.

Ironically, we had just heard lead singer Jessica Willis say in mock jealousy that famous music city Nashville, Tennessee, in America, is a place where “you hear people so talented you want to burn your instrument”. She meant it humorously but if we really knew those “so talented” superstars, I imagine we’d find that they also feel inadequate at some level.

The book of Ecclesiastes poignantly describes the futility of our human efforts. “The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race,” Solomon wrote. “The strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). The truth is, we’re never adequate simply in ourselves. But, frankly, we’re not designed to be.

You’ll find at the heart of the Willis family a deep, abiding faith in Jesus, who calls us to find our purpose in Him. Meaning and fulfilment in life isn’t realised in our accomplishments or acquisitions. Jesus created us, complete with our talents and desires, to reflect His image. Only He can infuse Solomon’s words with eternal value: “Whatever you do, do well.”

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: Matthew 20:1-19

Read Ecc. 12:1-7 to see the importance of finding true meaning and life in your Creator before it’s too late. 
What do you do well? What provides the most pure joy? Why do you think God has designed you this way?