Originally published Monday, 27 April 2015.
I often find myself in second hand stores like the Goodwill or our local used library store. I love finding richness and bargains in the items others have deemed unnecessary or no longer useful. It is often a thrill to find a classic book in worn or like new condition.
I say find myself in such places, maybe lend myself to such places is a better way to put it. In any case, I like finding value and bargains in discarded items. The adage, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is certainly one that my mom taught me.
About a month ago, I was using some alone time to peruse our local Goodwill. I don't often check out the furniture section, but decided I would. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a stunning, dark wood piano. I heard my breath catch and my coffee cup quickly found its way to a resting place as I eagerly fingered each key to check and see if they worked.
To my delight, each key let out a beautiful note equal to the beauty of the piano. The cost...a meager one hundred dollars. An expense great in some measures, but a bargain in this case. Dare I text my husband to see if I could purchase the piece? I dared... and waited. While I was waiting for a response from Ron, I lifted the piano bench to find several very old and well-used hymnals. As I already said, I love old books, but even more than old books, I love a life lived worshiping the Lord Jesus. This bargain piano had belonged to a woman named Faith, who had been praising the Lord on this very piano for, as it appeared, quite some time.
I wavered a bit between texts with Ron and conversations with the manager about pick up details. Ultimately, I knew this piano was a gift from God. He had seen my sideways glances at our silver keyboard seemingly out of place in our dinning room area. He knew that I would love a piano even though I hadn't even hoped to acquire one, much less ask. I know it is a luxury item when compared to the poverty stricken world, but a laughable pocket change expense to the richest in our land. Even so, it was a gift of affordable price from the Lord wrapped in the remnants of a life of worship played on its keys for years before.
I find it amazing, that the choices we make in this life echo long after our bodies return to the dust. Faith's legacy was apparent, in part, by the choices in music she made and the pages of worship she left behind. Our actions preach beyond our present and our legacy lasts beyond our life's breath.
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
Proverbs 20:11, KJV
Our life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions; but in the One who possess our very souls. We labor and toil and worry, and are liable to miss the point if we aren't seeking to live the crucified and resurrected life of Christ. Yes, this means possessions will come and go, but how we use them, and for whom, is more the point.
For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
Ecclesiastes 2:21, NIV
It is a misfortune if the only reason for which we have toiled is to acquire possessions or to satiate our selfish ambition in this life. If we have toiled to bless and to be an instrument of God's glory, then we are working for eternal riches to be realized in heaven for eternity. As David Platt says in his new book, Counter Culture, we aren't working for twenty years from now, we are working for twenty million years from now. Solomon wrote the above verse in light of the temporary. When we work for the eternal, then our work is never meaningless and whatever remains for others to use is not a misfortune. The rewards that matter most comes from work that is lasting and ultimately realized in heaven.
Some of the greatest composers of all time were men who loved God and penned lasting music for God's glory alone, Soli Deo Gloria. Consider:
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.
Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.
Johann Sebastian Bach
What will those after us find when they open the boxes of our left behind possessions? Boxes filled with worldly remains or the remnants of a life well lived? In all that we say and all that we do we strive to do it Soli Deo Gloria. For the moments we fail there is grace found in faith through Jesus Christ.
Praying we live a life of lasting legacy,