I watched Mr. Holland’s Opus again last night for about the fifth time. I love the movie most because it’s about purpose and significance in life. I see most of life differently these days than I used to, so even watching a familiar movie can be a new experience.
Near the end of the film upon Mr. Holland’s forced retirement he says, “You work for 30 years because you think that what you do makes a difference, you think it matters to people, but then you wake up one morning and find out, well no, you’ve made a little error there, you’re expendable. I should be laughing.” That struck a nerve in me because it verbalizes how I felt after seven years of pastoral ministry.
In real life seldom do we walk into an auditorium filled with friends and acquaintances cheering in gratitude for the difference we’ve made in their lives. Maybe we’ll never really know the measure of our contribution, but God knows. His opinion is the only one we should be concerned about.
You see, everyday I wake up to two little boys shouting my name. God gave them to me, and everyday presents me with an opportunity to make an imprint on their lives deeper and more lasting than anyone else can ever make, one I pray that bears a resemblance to Him. Because they matter, I matter. So we discover that we find our significance most in helping others find their own.