This Friday past, we gathered to celebrate the life of Larry Turowski after he had suffered sudden and catastrophic medical emergencies that soon took him from us. I got to know Larry pretty well as he and I were often in the church at the same time together working for our different ministries—myself attending to the details of making music and he working his ministry of art and enhancements for our Parish. He loved the art of his work; and often we discussed the seasons and feasts and plans for enhancing our liturgies at St. Aidan. He had an incredible artistic eye; a wonderful work ethic, a great sense of humor and irony, and a passion for beauty. I got to thinking about the legacy we all leave behind—when the Master lets any one of us go in peace…
What do you hope people will say about you in your obit, or eulogy? What do we need to do to make things happen that will last, be effective and are remembered by our many Communities (whether family, friends, parishioners, co-workers, etc.)? We should all strive to work as Larry did: creating beauty to reveal God’s love and purpose, to work for the greater glory of God. How to do that? Set some goal, write it down, and make it happen.
There’s an old music joke about an orchestra director who was having a lot of trouble with one of his drummers. He talked and talked and talked with the drummer, but his performance didn't improve. Finally, in front of the whole orchestra, he said, “When a musician just can't handle his instrument and doesn't improve when given help, they take away the instrument, give him two sticks, and make him a drummer.” A whisper was heard from the percussion section: “And if he can't handle even that, they take away one of his sticks and make him a conductor.”
It is a biblical principle that if we are unable to handle the responsibility of the talent that God has given us, it can be taken away. Jesus said: “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29) You are the one responsible for using your many gifts and talents for the Kingdom of God.
Larry’s work for us at St. Aidan was a constant, visual reminder that all that has been given by God should be used for His glory—in the beauty he created we were reminded of God’s gracious and abundant love for us. God blesses us with many and varied opportunities for service and love in this field of souls. What are you doing with what God has given you? This is a question to be answered by action on your part—like Larry did. “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace…”