Archive for March 13, 2018

On my recent ministry trip to Nebraska, I met a man named John. John is a pianist and an extraordinary one. To hear John play piano is truly a gift. This is more than just playing the printed notes, there were fills and arpeggios and a whole bunch of other stuff that probably all have technical terms, which this non-musician does not know. To sing along in worship with him is an experience not to be missed. Now it you’re a little jaded, you might say well that’s nice but there are a lot of good piano players out there and you would be right, but none of them are quite like John.

You see, years ago, John lost a hand in a tragic accident, and not just a hand but his dominant playing hand. For most people that would seem an obstacle that is insurmountable. Most people aren’t John. John has a prosthetic hook replacing his left hand. He places a pencil top eraser on the hook and uses it to tap out the rhythms, while his right hand played everything else. He is not pretty good for a one handed guy, he is simply a great player. Faced with the loss of a hand, what he really faced was a choice. He could give up, (no one would have blamed him for that) or he could adapt and turn the obstacle into an opportunity. He must have been able to tell I wanted to say something but I wasn’t sure how I should phrase what I was thinking, so he said it for me. He said, without a shred of pridefulness, “I used to be good (he still is, and more) but now I’m inspirational.” To that all I can say is “Amen.”

John took an obstacle and turned it into an opportunity, and that’s the thing about creativity. Creativity finds a way where there is no way. When we follow God into turning obstacles into opportunities, we become inspirational and furthermore, we give glory to the one for whom all things are possible.

What are your obstacles and how can you turn them into opportunities?