What is your reason for being, and are you prepared to take action when needed?
At this season of the year, we hear familiar holiday songs. The old carols are especially uplifting. But there are other classic songs that stir wonderful memories.
Do you know the song “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson? It is a bouncy orchestration that has many wonderful sounds including a horse “clip-clopping” along the path, and the “pop” of a whip. When I was in middle school, our orchestra started rehearsing “Sleigh Ride” in September so we would be ready for the Christmas concert.
In our arrangement, there was a place near the end for the sound of a horse-whinny. Our director asked me to have this special solo, and showed me how to make that “whinny” sound on my trumpet. I remember practicing that sound with great passion every day for three months. And yes, it did get on the nerves of mature adults and dogs. But, after all, I was the horse-whinny guy.
On the night of the performance, my nerves were on edge. At the point of my solo, no other instruments would be playing. Everything stopped for a brief moment for the horse whinny guy. Incredible! Looking back, it was one of the most wonderful moments of my life. Everything went well, and I just knew that all of the applause for the song was for me – the horse-whinny guy.
In the Bible, there were those who had focused assignments from God. These were one-time jobs that seemed simple, yet necessary. Balaam’s donkey only spoke once (Numbers 22). The whirlwind only appeared once to catch up Elijah (2 Kings 2). The stick that Elisha used to make the ax head float was only used once (2 Kings 6). Shimei only appears once in Scripture as he cursed David (1 Samuel 16). And Anna lived her life in Temple service but we only meet her once at the dedication of Jesus. (Luke 2)
Which leads me to Mattaniah. When Israel returned from captivity in Babylon, they immediately rebuilt the walls of protection around Jerusalem. When the wall was finished, there was a great celebration to thank God for His care, provision, and blessing. Mattaniah was appointed to be the precentor, or conductor of the Temple songs of gratitude. It was a huge responsibility. This was his main job. He was the Thanksgiving guy. (Nehemiah 12:8)
It is not important that we are often mentioned in the history books. We cannot all be King David, Moses, or the Apostle Paul. But it is most important that we be prepared, ready, and present when God wants to use us. Each of us has been called for a purpose. We have been given unique skills that will assist us in being successful. But we must prepare ourselves for use. The main preparation is spiritual. Get your heart right with God and keep it that way.
You may be the one God wants to use in a miracle of provision. How sad it would be for God to have provided you an opportunity, but you were not ready or even present. Sad indeed.
So, don’t complain if you are just the horse-whinny guy. Let God help you to be the best you can be.