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The Only Reason to Do Anything

January 22, 2019

At the end of last year, my wife and I took my adopted grandparents, Andy and Carolyn (I say “adopted” because they aren’t technically my grandparents, but they’ve played this important role in my life), to a Vince Gill concert at the Fox Theatre. Most of you might be thinking we chose Vince Gill for Andy and Carolyn, but I’m an old soul. Out of all of us, I was the most excited to hear Vince Gill play.

This show was the exact opposite of what most of us consider a typical concert experience. No one was on their feet dancing, cheering, or loudly singing along. There was no fog machine or moving colored lights. It was just one artist and his band playing song after song, telling stories and jokes in between. We remained seated almost the entire time and enjoyed every minute in our comfortable, padded seats.

For those of you who don’t listen to much country music, Vince Gill is not the most popular artist these days, but he remains well known for his talent and skill as a guitar player and for his striking tenor singing voice. So his humility this night was amazing to witness. We could tell that he was thrilled and genuinely surprised that so many people showed up and sold out this venue to hear him sing. Sporadically, he would say things like, “Man, I can’t believe you guys are here. I love this. This means so much to me.” It was so endearing to all of us in the audience.

During one of these moments, he struck us with this statement: “I love music. I’ve always loved music, but the only reason to play music is to play with someone or for someone.” This musician was telling us that his talent is most enjoyable if he’s sharing it with someone or using it for someone else. After the concert, I thought more about his statement and realized that it was so compelling because you could replace the word “music” with anything worth doing.

Life is most meaningful when you’re sharing it with other people.

Consider your daily tasks at home, at work, and in your community. The things you spend your time doing are only as important as the people you do them with or the people you do them for.

We’re often consumed by the growing list of things we need to get done every day, but today, I simply want you to think differently about what you’re currently doing.

Instead of getting stressed about the details of your next big project at work, think about the positive impact it could have on someone else or about the relationships you’re building with your coworkers.

As you’re folding the seemingly never-ending pile of laundry in your living room, think about how helpful it is for your family to have clean clothes or about the conversation you’re able to have with your child as they help you out.

When you volunteer to pick up trash in your community, think about the people that will reap the benefits of your hard work and about the friendships that could come from working alongside someone new.

Ultimately, if you are a Christian, every daily task contains a higher calling—“whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV). It’s humbling and motivating to think about how all of your tasks are to be done for the Lord.

This week, don’t just think about what you’re doing. Focus on who you’re doing it with or who you’re doing it for. The who will always bring more meaning to the what. That perspective will change the way you walk through each and every day.

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