By Dr. Michael A. Halleen
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. . . . (Let us) use it in proportion to (our) faith.” (Romans 12:6)
was a nineteenth century Russian composer, a member of “The Mighty Handful,” a group of that nation’s five leading composers dedicated to producing a distinctly . His opera, , is thought by some to have been his most significant work.
Borodin, however, always considered himself no more than a part-time musician—a “Sunday composer,” as he called himself. His training and professional career were in organic chemistry. He worked as a researcher in that field, writing scholarly articles and delivering lectures in Russian universities and throughout. But on weekends, as a hobby, he wrote string quartets and symphonic poems—and Prince Igor. It’s that music that became his legacy to the world. Likewise . . .
–was a stonemason who made a good honest, living. But he was a curious man, and in his off hours he asked questions and challenged people to think. Today he’s remembered as the founder of Western philosophical thought.
–was a teacher whose wife was nearly deaf, and at least in part as an effort to assist her to hear better, he invented the telephone. What started as weekend tinkering to solve a domestic communication problem revolutionized communication for all.
– The Wright brothers built bicycles in Ohio, but when business was slow they fiddled around with the idea of flying. It was just a sideline. Then came that December day in Kitty Hawk, and the would forever be associated with flight.
–was, in many ways, an undistinguished, garden-variety U.S. president. Since leaving office, however, he has achieved greatness in still another career as an international diplomat and humanitarian.
The gifts that lie within many are too great to be confined to a single avenue of expression. The interests that drive some spirits are too varied and rich to be satisfied with punching the same clock for forty years. And, for a certainty, the needs of the world go well beyond the contribution any of us can make to meet them in a mere eight hours per day. We need more “Sunday composers.”
Are there dreams still hidden in you? What are you doing next weekend?