I remember seeing a movie when my wife, Ginelle and I were first married. It was called “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” It was about this high school music teacher who wanted to write this great musical masterpiece. But life happened and he felt he had failed by not doing that. As he was about ready to retire, he was honored and I would say shocked. All the people he had touched came back and shared how he had made a difference in their lives. It was very touching and inspiring. The reality was this: the sum total of his life was greater than accomplishing that one great goal. It was the body of his work. That’s was the opus is: it’s the sum total of the composer’s work not just one piece.
When some people think of Jim Kelly, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, they think of a four-time losing Super Bowl quarterback. When I think of him, I see a three time AFC championship quarterback. Why do we place the emphasis on: you have to get the Gold Medal-fourth doesn’t count. I’m sure you have heard it before. The Broncos were better than thirty other teams to be in the Super Bowl but that doesn’t seem to matter.
I believe we should compete to win. It brings out the best in us. But shouldn’t we redefine what is winning. If you make it to the Super Bowl, you are a winner; even if you lose. If you make progress in areas of your life that are important; aren’t you a winner! I say you are!
It seems very superficial that people talk about what your legacy will be based on one game. It kind of reminds me of people in college who would say “that would really look good on a resume.” More concern seems to be on jockeying for appearance sake than just doing your best work and letting the cards fall where they may. I don’t think Peyton sits around thinking about his legacy.
I read something recently about Peyton Manning and his faith in God. He talked about being a more private person in this area. He also talked about praying for others; sometimes briefly and sometimes for extended periods of time. You know as great of a football player that he is those things about him actually impressed me more.
Omaha is just one the words in the signal calling cadence that Peyton uses at the line of scrimmage. When Peyton calls his last signal his football career will be over but his opus isn’t. He will move on to other things that will touch people’s lives. Trying to figure out his future legacy really doesn’t matter; because he has an opus and that’s better and bigger.
Always remember this: winning is not only giving your best on that one day, but living your best for an entire lifetime. You won’t win the Super Bowl each time, but if you shoot for the sun and hit the moon, you are winner! Don’t be afraid to take stretch yourself. Let God show you what your God-given talents are. Then use them for him and watch him multiply that ability. Shoot with all your might and you will win some and lose some, but one thing is for sure you are a winner and your opus will be amazing!
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14)
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:19)