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Ooooh, I’ll take that one . . . No, wait a minute, let me have that one instead.

Most people fail in life because they major in minor things. – Tony Robbins

Recently, I was remembering a day in elementary school. I don’t know if what happened that day was typical for everyone or just us military brats. Anyway, one day in the middle of class, they took all or a lot of us into the cafetorium (a combination cafeteria and auditorium). There were a bunch of adults with musical instruments all around the room and what ensued was a beautiful break from Social Studies and diagramming sentences. Trumpets, trombones, clarinets, flutes, drums, and a few other musical instruments that would be typical in a marching band could be heard and to my great surprise . . . handled. They demonstrated them for us and then we were told that we needed to pick out which one we wanted to play. It did not seem in anyway to be optional. We had to pick one. After looking and listening and trying to determine the geek factor for each one, I chose the trumpet. (It actually turned out to be a cornet, but I did not find that out for another 3 years.) So, at the tender age of nine I began to inflict a sadistic form of auditory torture on my parents and siblings with sour notes that I am quite sure could not and will not ever be found on any musical scale. For the greater part of my elementary band career I sat proudly in what was called 3rd chair. Third chair is to the concert hall what right field is to baseball. The high spot of my musical career was in 9th grade when for two whole weeks I was promoted to 2nd chair. Something was definitely clicking and if I wasn’t careful, I would soon be triple tonguing notes. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) it was about this time that we moved to the Gulf Coast. I was in the band and I also decided to go out for football. I was almost as ill-suited for football as I was for band. The football coach watched me at the first practice and immediately determined that even though I was small, I was slow. I didn’t care, I loved football and I dedicated myself to becoming the Rudy of the PHS gridiron. What I lacked in size and speed I definitely made up for in attitude and determination. Sadly, or perhaps not, I was told shortly after the start of my sophomore year, that I would have to make a choice between 3rd chair trumpet and 2nd string offensive guard. I would not be allowed to be in the band and play football. It probably should have been a more difficult choice, but I quickly decided that my best chance for glory was to throw away four and a half years of music and take my chances on the football field.

Making a choice. We do it every day. We must set something aside, so we can give ourselves to something we deem to be more worthy of our efforts or that is just more appealing. Life is eventually, about what we choose and the priorities we set and the focus we have in life. Some people fail to set priorities or maybe the right priorities and so, they struggle to find the satisfaction or the achievements they want. The apostle Paul said it this way; “. . . I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize (the upward call) for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT). He certainly had done some good things. Great things. But He knew that God had much more. And so, he set his priorities and let go of whatever would hinder or prevent him from getting the most of what God had for him.

I have found that God is asking me and perhaps He is asking all of us, “What are you doing with your life?” It simply comes down to, what do you spend your time on? And, is what you are doing frustrating and exhausting or is it fulfilling? You simply can’t do everything or have it all, but you can have some amazing things if you set your priorities and if you focus on your goal. Too many people miss the great and wonderful things that God has for them because they choose the sour notes of the mundane over the marvelous mystical prize that God has prepared for them. We need to major on major things and minor on minor things. May you choose wisely.


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