by Gary Brandenburg Posted Jan 16, 2014
What would you say if I asked you to identify your magnum opus? Would you point somewhere between your inferior vena cava and your superior colliculus?
Of course, a magnum opus is not an anatomical term. It simply means “great work” in Latin. An artist’s magnum opus may be their most valuable piece of art. An athlete’s magnum opus could be their greatest season. For a musician, it could be a great symphony.
The truth is, all of us should aspire to create a magnum opus that becomes part of our legacy. The problem for many of us is identifying what that great work is.
One of my favorite movies is “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” It’s a little cheesy, but it has a great message. Mr. Holland is a musician who dreams of writing a great American symphony. Like most aspiring musicians, he has to work to pay the bills, so he takes a job as a high school orchestra teacher. Is there a more thankless job than a high school band or orchestra teacher? For Mr. Holland, it is just a job. He hurries home each day after school to work on his composition. All Mr.Holland can think about is his symphony, and he views the kids he teaches as obstacles to his fame and fortune.
The movie covers nearly three decades of Mr.Holland’s teaching career. It tracks his transformation from a self-absorbed solo performer to a teacher who eventually realizes that his magnum opus is not his music, but his students. They are his symphony. They are his legacy.
All of us are leaving a legacy. Sometimes a legacy is nothing more than what happens while you are trying to make a name for yourself. Ideally, a legacy is the end product of a purposeful life. I’m honored to speak about this at the Pine Cove Men’s Weekend, January 24-26. Here, we’ll look at the following questions more in depth:
I can’t wait to get together to encourage one another to be the men God created us to be. Join me in praying that God will do a magnum opus on this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
Editor’s Note: Gary serves as the Lead Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Dallas. He has been a Family Camp and Men’s speaker at Pine Cove for a number of years and has also served on Pine Cove’s Board of Directors.