Monday of this week was a rather epoch-making one at our church. A benefactor had donated a good-quality organ for our use, and it arrived early that afternoon. The same truck that brought it also took away our longsuffering previous organ to the home of a man who will definitely put it to good use.
This gentleman—who will remain anonymous only because he’d probably like it that way—found our old organ listed on CraigsList, and is planning to park it in his large shop, which he hopes eventually to turn into a kind of youth center, where young people can find interesting things to do.
As I chatted with this man, I discovered that—though in his 80s—he is “into everything.” He’s a woodcarver, and a metalworker, and photos he brought with him proved that he’s a superb craftsman in these and several other areas. He’s also an articulate speaker and writer (I saw a commemorative article he wrote to go beside a carving he had done to honor a fellow church member).
This man told me that he had four separate sets of shop tools, depending on whether he worked with wood or metal or various other substances. He has discovered that as long as he has the right tools, he can pretty much create anything he wants too.
Of course, to be this kind of person he also needs—and abundantly possesses—the attitude described by the otherwise cynical author of Ecclesiastes. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,” said old Solomon, for it was he who authored the book. And yet the aging monarch simply couldn’t keep his moroseness from seeping back in, because the last half of the verse says, “—for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV).
When I was a boy, my parents somehow infused me with the idea that when someone challenged me to do something a bit beyond what I thought I could, I should pretty much always say “yes.” In fact, one day two church ladies came to visit Mom. I was upstairs at the time, and to my horror I heard my mother tell them, in answer to their request, “Yes, Maylan will be glad to play the piano for church.”
I hasten to earnestly assure you that I was not some sort of child prodigy. I could not read music, and still can’t in a practical way. I played (and still play) by ear, and back then the only key I knew was C. I thought that every congregational song was playable in that extremely easy key, and I considered the black keys as needless accessories.
Well, I quickly learned a few tough lessons while sweating my way through that first piano gig, and things have gotten easier over the years. But this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t doggedly employed that “Yes” attitude.
The Bible tells us that God gives each of us various “spiritual gifts,” and urges us to accept the challenge of putting them to use. For a few passages that talk more about these gifts, click the link just below: