One of my favorite all time movies is a movie called Mr. Holland’s Opus. If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t want to ruin it for you … but I will. It’s about a reluctant music teacher in a school that wants to go to New York, write symphonies and be rich and famous. He comes home to his wife complaining every night about how he hates it but everyday, he still goes and meets with students before school starts and after school ends.
I remember specifically a red-head girl who plays the clarinet and she’s terrible. So, he meets with her everyday, and through his investing into that relationship and teaching her, he realizes that it’s not a clarinet problem as much as it’s a self-esteem problem. So, he pours into her. The whole movie is about him pouring his life into many other students, and the 3 years that he wanted to do this for turns into 30 years. Until the end of the movie where Mr. Holland hears that due to budget cutbacks, that the music program has been cancelled. He can’t believe it. After all these years, he didn’t even want to do it, and he’s thinking it’s all been a waste. He could have gone to New York by now and become rich and famous writing symphonies. He says to a colleague, “Just the minute you think that what you do really counts, you get a wake-up call. You suddenly realize you’re mistaken. You are expendable.”
He picks up his stuff and starts walking down the school hallway with his wife for the last time, when he hears something behind two double doors. He asks his wife what that noise is, and she plays dumb and says she doesn’t know and to check it out. He goes to the double doors and he opens it and he sees something that he can’t believe. Behind those double doors is an auditorium full of people who he has influence over the last 30 years. He walks down to the front and you see in the stands, “Class of ’49, Class of ’52, Class of ‘65” He sits down on the stage, and from the back of the room, the governor of the state walks in … and the governor of the state has red hair … the governor of the state is the clarinet player. She gets to the podium and says, “Mr. Holland, rumor has it that you wanted to move to New York and become rich and famous writing symphonies. But you never got rich and or famous – at least not outside our little town.” Then she paused and said, “Rumor also has it that you feel like your time here was a waste and what you didn’t matter. That is where you are wrong. Just look around you. There is not a life in this room that you have not touched, and each one of us is a better person because of you. We are your symphony. We are your opus.”
Do you know why I love that movie? Cause I wonder if that scene is the scene of when we get to heaven. And we’ll walk into an auditorium of people cheering and applauding us for investing in them and influencing them for Christ.
Who are your investing in? Who are you influencing?