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What is your magnum opus?

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You haven’t even had your morning coffee yet and I’m throwing Latin at you.  It’s okay. It’s the only Latin word in this piece:) Perhaps, after reading it, you will be inspired that you are a beautiful creation of God, who has a magnum opus to perform.

We are here to make a lasting difference in the lives we touch. In each of us lies the potential for a magnum opus, that great life’s work that we have been put on this earth to do. What is your magnum opus? How will you carry it out? The answer to those questions will be different for each person. It needn’t be anything of huge importance such as being instrumental in reducing poverty in your community. Your magnum opus could be as simple and yet as important as ending the conflict in your family. Your great work could be in encouraging the bitterness and unforgiveness in your family to end.

Maybe, you are going to end up writing a song or series of them that reaches people right where they need most. Hurting and broken lives need to be uplifted by your gift.

Perhaps, you will write a book about your life and the lessons you have learned from it. You may write the next children’s book that is read at your local library. Think of the impact your book would have if it got into one hand, who gave it to another. People need authors who will inspire tham. You may end up encouraging someone else to be a writer or a journalist. As a former pastor of mine said in one of his sermons, “Just be faithful to the call God has given you. Let Him take care of the results.” I don’t know about you, but for me that’s quite relieving. I do as I have been called. That’s my sole responsibility.

Your contribution to your community could be that you become a doctor, who serves in remote regions where few doctors will go. Doctors are so desperately needed in remote communities in northern Ontario. There is currently a shortage of doctors in places like Englehart. Having reached the mark of having rhe distinction of being a five year honorary northern Ontarian, I can say that doctors willing to make a commitment to serve, are so much needed in many underserved northern Ontario communities. Wherever there is a need consider answering the call to be a doctor in a remote community.

Perhaps, you are being called to be that teacher, who makes a lasting impact on your students. I love teaching! When I see a student grasp a concept it is better than caffeine, well almost better. Seeing that light of excitment in their eyes especially when the concept is a difficult one infuses me with energy.

Some people are meant to be leaders. Followers need leaders and leaders need followers. A leader is not more important than a follower. We all work together. Christ used disciples to carry out His mission of reaching many with the message that they are loved and God has a plan — a magnum opus for their lives.

Some are called to be social advocates. Having spent over 15 years in social advocacy work, you learn to savour the victories in helping others have a better quality of life. Many feel worn down and defeated by a system that feels cold and distant to their needs. Let us be thankful for those bright and shining stars who see the potential in their clients who ask mostly not for a hand out, but rather a hand up. We need so many more people like them, who tell their clients not to give up.

The physically and developmentally challenged and those with invisible disabilities such as mental illness and learning disabilities, need caring people like you to speak for them. Many come from abuse that is physical, emotional and/or sexual. Their sense of who they truly are are has been attacked. Their abuser (s) have sought for those they abuse to believe in a false sense of who they truly are. The abuser and those abused need so much to be healed. Our communities need healers. Perhaps, your magnum opus will  be to be a healer.

Most of us will not give an inspirational speech or sermon that impacts millions of lives. We won’t lead an evangelistic crusade. For most of us the magnum opus becomes an easier one but nonetheless important goal to achieve. It lies simply in being a more caring person. You seek by God’s strength each day to be a little kinder, a little more understanding, a little more compassionate than the day before. This really is community and world-transforming. What a more beautiful world it would be if we all committed to being better people as one life touches another, which changes another.

Our lives are like the ripples of a pond. As we touch one life with our outstretched hands of love and hope we speak that message into others. If all you did with your life is that, think of the enduring ripple you would leave behind.

If we truly believe as the Psalmist David declares, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we know then God didn’t make us to waste our time, to merely take up space. He created us because He designed that in each of us there is a calling uniquely suited for us — that we are a magnum opus in the making meant to perform a magnum opus.

Your magnum opus, the great work that will define your life, may be no further than the helping hand at the end of your arm.

Kevin Osborne, B.A. in Clinical Christian Counseling St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, BTh. Canada Christian College & Graduate School, M.A. -Th.D. student Applied Theology with a major in Clinical Christian Counseling St. James the Elder Theological Seminary, D.D., D Sc., Diplomate in Creative Ministry, is a certified Christian counselor. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada.