MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS

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It stars Richard Dreyfuss as Glenn Holland, a musician who had a desire to compose a symphony.

As a teen, he had been given a John Coltrane album and listened to it only to dislike the music. But assuming he was missing something that the giver had seen or heard, he listened again, and again, and again, until John Coltrane was all he wanted to hear. From that time on he knew that music was his calling.

He was called to teach in the same manner. The teaching job at John F. Kennedy High School was taken only as a day job to allow him to stop touring with his supper club band and provide time for him to compose his symphony. It turned out that teaching actually took all of his time. More importantly, he actually had the gift to teach well.

But he never gave up his dream of composing, and worked on his masterpiece late into the night when his wife and son slept, after grading papers, completing lesson plans; after tutoring the serial problem-student seeking the one thing in which he or she could excel. And on rare occasions someone would glimpse the unfinished symphony on his piano and recognize its potential greatness. And, of course, there was temptation to flee his responsibility for his family and pursue his dream, in the arms of another who not only appreciated but could also augment his talent. But he knew his responsibility and stayed where he had been called, to teach.

"Opus" is defined as a creation. One would think, a musical creation. But this was not the case for Mr. Holland. Over the 30 years of teaching, he had touched and inspired future leaders, never knowing his true impact. Certainly this was Mr. Holland's service, and he performed it well.

My pastor has preached about being called to serve in a certain place, to succeed in that place, not moving into other areas because of successes that accompany the service, but staying where called. He cited great men who had been called away from their service by their successes; who had abandoned their calling and the people they had been called to lead. He cautioned us to remain where called to serve.

Hebrews 10:24-25 states "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {v25} Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."  It encourages Christians to come together in fellowship, provoking each other to good works. The implication is that we are strong as we strengthen each other with gifts God has given us for this purpose. But that away from the place of service and strengthening (for us as well as for those we serve) there is weakening and decay.

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