As a wee tribute to Bill Russell, I decided to make the theme of my letter this month "music".
I think life is like a big symphony, in which each one of us has a part to play. If we keep our eyes focussed on the conductor, God, and each one of us play our different instruments with all our hearts - read the notes, play when we are expected to play and wait patiently when it's not our turn - life can be a piece of music that takes your breath away (1 Corinthians 12: 12 - 26).
As any musician will be able to tell you, some pieces are really easy to play, and some are extremely hard. But, the more you practise, the better you will be able to cope with the harder pieces. Exactly the same thing is true of life.
No matter how easy or hard, if there is one thing Bill taught me, it's never to give up. he always insisted on singing ALL the verses of a hhymn, no matter how long the hymn would be, because it was written as a unity.
And in a sense, that is exactly how he lived his life as well - full on, from beginning to end, giving attention to every little detail along the way, not missing anything, giving everything of himself until the very last minute.
At the thanksgiving service that was held for Bill at the Mure Memorial Church, the minister read a passage written by George Bernard Shaw. here is an extract of it: "I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. i rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no 'brief candle' for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations."
Now isn't that just so true of our Bill?
And such an inspiration for all of us.
Let's make the most of every single minute we have, because only God knows when the notes we are playing will become silent. But until that moment arrives, let's give it all we've got, because the mere fact that we were chosen to be part of this orchestra is an honour beyond comparison!