Have a good one!
One of my very favourite films has to be Mr Holland’s Opus. It is a movie about a frustrated composer in Portland, Oregon, who takes a job as a high school band teacher in the 1960s. Although diverted from his lifelong goal of achieving critical fame as a classical musician, Glenn Holland (played by Richard Dreyfuss) believes his school job is only temporary.
At first he maintains his determination to write an opus or a concerto by composing at his piano after putting in a full day with his students. But, as family demands increase (including discovering that his infant son is deaf) and the pressures of his job multiply, Mr. Holland recognises that his dream of leaving a lasting musical legacy is merely a pipe dream.
Near the end of the movie we find the aged
Mr. Holland fighting in vain to keep his job. The School Board has decided to reduce the operating budget by cutting the music and drama department. No longer a reluctant band teacher, Mr. Holland believes in what he does and passionately defends the role of the arts in public education. What began as a career detour became a 35-year mission, pouring his heart into the lives of hundreds of young people.
However, Holland lost his battle with the Board. A few days after school had broken up for the summer break, Mr Holland returns to his classroom to collect his belongings. He has taught his final class, he has taken his last lesson and with much regret and sorrow, he fills a box with artifacts that represent the tools of his trade and memories of many meaningful classes.
His wife and son then arrive to give him a hand. As they leave the room and walk down the hall, Mr. Holland hears some noise in the auditorium. And because school is out, he opens the door to see what the commotion is. To his amazement he sees a capacity audience of former students and teaching colleagues and a banner that reads “Goodbye, Mr. Holland.”
Those in attendance greet Mr. Holland with a standing ovation while a band consisting of past and present students play songs they learned at his hand. His wife, who was in on the surprise reception, approaches the podium and makes small talk until the master of ceremonies, the Governor of Oregon, arrives. The Governor is none other than a student Mr Holland helped to believe in herself during his first year of teaching. As she addresses the room of well-wishers, she speaks for the hundreds who fill the auditorium. This is what she said….
“Mr. Holland had a profound influence in my life (on a lot of lives, I know), and yet I get the feeling that he considers a great part of his life misspent. Rumour has it he was always working on this symphony of his, and this was going to make him famous and rich.
But Mr Holland isn’t rich and he isn’t famous – at least not outside our little town. So it might be easy for him to think himself a failure, but he’d be wrong. Because I think he’s achieved a success far beyond riches and fame.”
Looking at her former teacher the Governor gestures with a sweeping hand and continues,
“Look around you. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each one of us is a better person because of you. We are your symphony, Mr. Holland. We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. And we are the music of your life……and your symphony, your legacy will live on long after you have gone!”
WOW! How moving is that! What a story! What a legacy! One man despite his difficult family setbacks and his own personal shattered dreams found himself investing his life into hundreds of others and as a result made an incredible difference.
I tell you this inspirational story of Mr Holland’s Opus because it leads me on to say this. I passionately believe the sovereign Lord God has created you and me not only to serve Him and invest our lives into His work and Kingdom – but He has created each one of us to make an enduring difference!
It was said of King David hundreds of years after he had lived… “When he served the purpose of God in his own generation he fell asleep (he died) and was buried with his fathers…..” Very revealing – you see, David had no intention whatsoever of leaving this planet without serving the specific purpose of God in his time here on earth and without doing all he could to leave a lasting legacy.
I am reminded what American entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said about this …”All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.”
Simply put, you and I have been called by God just like David of old, to serve the purpose of God in our own generation and to leave a lasting influence that will bless not only the generation in which we live but also generations to come. As Jim Rohn puts it, “a legacy that will take the next generation to a level that we can only imagine!”
Now for far too long (generally speaking) the church has been marginalised and has been made to seem totally irrelevant to life. But we believe this is our day and 2015 is our year to emerge and be a 21st-century church that is filled with the Spirit, power and presence of God, a church that is burgeoning with enterprise, initiative, community involvement and citywide influence; a church that serves the purposes of God in our own generation and leaves an important and lasting legacy. I have no doubt together in God we can do it. Together “we can make this happen!”
For us at New Springs this is surely a very exciting time. A new year, a new building, a new day, a new season, a new opportunity to reach out and leave a lasting impression.
So in closing just listen to this prophetic word from the book of Isaiah chapter 43 v 19, the Lord says “See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Let us together – thank God for the past and embrace the new that God has got for us.
This without doubt promises to be quite a year! Let’s make every day count and like Mr. Holland in the film, may our symphony live on long after we have gone!
Have a good one!