Is there music inside of you?

This morning as I began to schedule my day, I discovered the following quote on the first page of my brand new 2010 day planner:

“Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside of us, unplayed.” – Oliver Wendall Holmes

That quote struck a chord with me (no pun intended). If that statement is indeed true, then it means that most people in life will never reach their fullest potential. Unfortunately, many will lead mediocre lives and die with music unplayed. Unplayed music ultimately means unfulfilled purpose.

Take a moment to reflect on the fact that God created each and everyone of us purposely:

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

Before you were formed in your mother’s womb, God knew you. Furthermore, He placed a calling on your life. You are special and He has unique purposes that He desires to reveal through you. These purposes are directly tied to His will.

Maybe He has called you to become a successful entrepreneur who empowers people within your community. Perhaps He wants you to utilize your intellect in order to research and tackle some of the socio-economic problems of our time. Or, maybe, He has simply gifted you with the ability to smile and bring joy to the relationships around you.

Regardless of what your passions or interests are, there is beautiful music that God has placed inside of you, and He wants the world to hear it. We are designed to be instruments for His glory.

So today, consider your life as a symphony. Understand that God is the composer of your life. He has already written the entire score, from beginning to end. He has personally crafted each movement of the piece; even the dark and dramatic moments.

Life, like the world’s greatest classical compositions, is dynamic and full of complexity. However, if we place our complete faith in the Omnipotent Composer, we will find that the end of the symphony is always better than the beginning (Haggai 2:9). We must trust that God is leading us to a grand finale that is greater than anything that we can hope or imagine!

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Finally, recognize that all great musicians need a skilled conductor to guide them through a complicated symphony. For believers, the Holy Spirit is our Conductor. He knows the heart of the Composer and establishes tempo in realtime. With our eyes fixed on the wave of His baton, the Holy Spirit guides us through each movement, advising us when to start, stop, crescendo or decrescendo.

When we allow God to lead, beautiful music is produced within our lives.

Today’s Prayer:

Lord, I dedicate my life as a symphony to you. You made me fearfully and wonderfully. It is my desire to play beautiful music that draws people to your love. Help me yield to the conducting power of the Holy Spirit in everything that I do today. I embrace the calling and purpose that you have destined for my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.

What's your fragrance?

2 Corinthians 12:14-15 - Take a moment right now to think about your favorite smell, whether it’s mom’s cooking, homemade cookies out of the oven, or freshly cut flowers. What place does that smell bring you too? Probably a good, happy and pleasant one.

It’s amazing how smells can help us remember people, places and moments in our lives. Often when I smell buttered popcorn, I think about school carnivals that I attended when I was in grade school. The favorite people in my life also have a recognizable smell, whether its their signature cologne, cocoa butter or the faint scent of their shampoo.

Honestly, there are some smells I would rather blank out. I will never forget the time my mother prepared chitterlings (chitlins for my soul food connoisseurs) in our home kitchens. Those of you who have experienced this process know how strong and pungent the smell is. Needless to say that was my first (and last) time tasting or eating chitterlings… all because of the smell.

Spiritually we also have a scent.

“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” 2 Corinthians 12:14-15 (The Message)

Ask yourself this question; is my aroma pleasant and engaging? Are people drawn to the perfume of my conversation and attitude? Or are people repelled when they get a whiff of my negativity or hypocrisy?

Those of us who are believers in Christ should carry a sweet smell. We should be compassionate, caring and real with all people… especially those who may not believe the same thing we believe. The greatest commandment is summed up in loving God will all your heart, soul and strength, and loving you neighbor as yourself. The grace of God in our life should be attractive to those who are seeking truth.

Take a moment and take a whiff of yourself (it’s ok, no one is looking ;-)). Do you smell of life or death today?