The Purpose of a Stradivarius

The purpose of a Stradivarius – A 320-year-old Stradivarius cello that had been missing for three weeks has been returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra after it avoided becoming the world’s most expensive CD rack.

Men Of Destiny - Your Purpose

Men Of Destiny – Your Purpose

The primary cellist for the Philharmonic accidentally left the instrument outside his home in April. Nearby video surveillance cameras revealed that a bicyclist had stolen it. Recently, 29 year-old nurse, Melanie Stevens, found the $3.5 million dollar instrument made by master craftsman Antonio Stradivari lying beside a trash bin about a mile from where it was stolen.

Stevens found the instrument inside its silver coated plastic case and put it in her car’s trunk for two days. Then she asked her boyfriend, who is a cabinetmaker, to either repair the instrument or convert it into a unique CD holder. Stevens did not know the significance of the instrument until she saw a news report about it. She said, “I had the idea to possibly put a hinge on the front. He would install little shelves inside. It would be a very elaborate CD case. I know it sounds crazy.”

The cello made in 1684 was one of about 60 made by Stradivari in his Cremona, Italy works. The Los Angeles Philharmonic bought it about 30 years ago. Robert Cauer, a Los Angeles-based instrument restoration specialist says the valuable instrument is damaged but repairable and should be back in service by this fall. Cauer added the prospect that the prized instrument could have been turned into a CD holder “is so abominable, I get sick when I hear it.”

  • —Associated Press. Stolen 320-Year-Old Cello is Found, May 19, 2004, by Ryan Pearson, Submitted by Jim Sandell.1


What I have realized in my life about purpose is that when I have discovered it, when I have found it, when I walk in it, it makes me come alive. Like the cellist that makes the cello come alive with music, so God makes me come alive when I am fulfilling my purpose.

When I am not fulfilling my purpose, my self-worth diminishes and I feel like God should just turn me into a CD holder.

What I’ve come to understand is that God has a purpose for my life, I must discover it; fulfill it.

Have you ever felt like you didn’t have any purpose? I have. Have you ever felt like you’ve known your purpose but you are not fulfilling your purpose for whatever reason? I have.

Thomas Carlyle said, “A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder–a waif, a nothing, a no man.”

Have you ever felt like a ship without a rudder?

Billy Sunday said, “More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.”

What we need to understand is that God has a purpose for our life, we must discover it and then we must fulfill it.

***God Created Purpose***

Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (28) And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

These few verses are nestled right toward the end of Genesis Chapter 1. The word “genesis” means “beginning”, and we have here in this chapter an account of the beginning of life as we know it.

We find in this chapter the Divine revelation of the very first thing God wanted us to know about—He is at the beginning of it all.

Genesis 1:1 sets the foundation for the entire Bible—God.

You can see that God has a purpose in mind as he creates.

He is not arbitrarily throwing a little something here and a little something there, cruising through eternity aimlessly creating at every whim and imagination.

No, God is creating with purpose. God is forming with purpose. Purpose is always the starting point. Someone once said, that you begin with the end in mind. What does that mean? It means you begin with a purpose.

A purpose is the reason something is done. A purpose is a goal. The tasks lead up to the goal. The steps taken lead to the goal in mind.

The purpose is the “why.”

The purpose, the reason, the goal, the “why” is answered in the text in Genesis 1:26-28. You see humanity is the crowning purpose of creation. God created with a purpose in mind.

The next logical question that absolutely needs to be answered by every single human being is, “so what is my purpose?

You see we need to understand that God has a purpose for our life, we must discover it and then we must fulfill it.

Looking at the text, there is an obvious answer and a not-so-obvious answer to that question.

Be fruitful and have dominion. A perversion of this is sex outside of marriage and world domination. It’s clear that having children and governing the world is part of our purpose.

But there is something more here—something deeper. V.26 informs us that we are made in the image and likeness of God.

That being the case then there is much more to our purpose that what would initially meet the eye.

Fellowship, Work and Creativity

Since God is a God of triune fellowship within the Godhead, then part of our purpose is fellowship. Fellowshipping with Him and fellowshipping with others is vital.

Since God is a God who works, part of our purpose is to be a people who work and bring meaning to what we do. Do get to work!

Since God is a God of creativity, part of our purpose is to create.

The objective is for us is to understand that each of us has a unique purpose that God placed within us that is reflective of who He is.

What we need to understand is that God has a purpose for our life, we must discover it and then we must fulfill it.

It’s not just about floating through life aimlessly. With some folks there is a lot of activity, but one wonders if they really know what their true purpose is.

It reminds me of the story that is told of one of golf’s immortal moments which came when a Scotchman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball placidly waited on the tee. Again the Scotchman swung, and again he missed. Our President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball. (Campus Life)

So many people have a “fair amount of exercise” in this game of life, but seem to miss their true life’s purpose.

Discover Your Purpose

Now it can be said, through looking at Scripture that our chief aim in life is to reconnect with God. That is true, and that is great, but it doesn’t stop there.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

So what are our God works? How do we truly discover God’s purpose for our lives? We are a valuable instrument, but how do we prevent ourselves from becoming some worthless CD holder?

We need God to show us. Yes there is the obvious component of not only following Him, but living as a light in a dark world. But what has God gifted you to do—what is your purpose?

I wish I could tell you, but that is between you and God. Now others might confirm it, but ultimately you need to discover it.

What we need to understand is that God has a purpose for our life, we must discover it and then we must fulfill it.

So how do we find our unique purpose in life?

It starts with obedience to God

Numbers 9:23 At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out. They kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by Moses.


We find purpose in obedience to God. The Israelites traveled and camped as God guided. When you follow God’s guidance, you know you are where God wants you, whether you’re moving or staying in one place. You are physically somewhere right now. Instead of praying, “God, what do you want me to do next?” ask, “God, what do you want me to do while I’m right here?” Direction from God is not just for your next big move. He has a purpose in placing you where you are right now. Begin to understand God’s purpose for your life by discovering what he wants you to do now!

It starts with obedience to God …

It continues as we trust God with our lives

Proverbs 3:4-6 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (5) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


To receive God’s guidance, said Solomon, we must acknowledge God in all our ways. This means turning every area of life over to him. About a thousand years later, Jesus emphasized this same truth (Matthew 6:33). Look at your values and priorities. What is important to you? In what areas have you not acknowledged him? What is his advice? In many areas of your life you may already acknowledge God. But it is in the areas where you attempt to restrict or ignore his influence that will cause you grief. Make him a vital part of everything you do; then he will guide you because you will be working to accomplish his purposes.

It starts with obedience to God …it continues as we trust God with our lives…

And it becomes clearer as we work at becoming like Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,

Be Like Christ

Our “calling” from God, as Christians, is to become like Christ (Romans 8:29). This is a gradual, lifelong process that will be completed when we see Christ face to face (1 John 3:2). To be “worthy” of this calling means to want to do what is right and good (as Christ would). We aren’t perfect yet, but we’re moving in that direction as God works in us.

This is what I want to challenge you with ….

Have you found your ultimate purpose in simply knowing God? Are you having a relationship with God? Do you know God not just about God?

If you do know God, have you discovered or are your fulfilling your unique purpose? Are you doing what God wants you to be doing?

If you feel like you haven’t discovered it yet or know it and aren’t walking in it, may I challenge you to evaluate your life right now. Ask yourself if you are obeying, trusting and allowing yourself to be transformed by Christ.

Mark Twain shortly before his death wrote, “A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle, they squabble and scold and fight and they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; …those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It (the release) comes at last–the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them–and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence,…a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.” (Source Unknown.)

Make a Difference

The reality is that when we know our purpose and we fulfill it, it will not be said that our life was of no consequence once we are gone. And certainly if we follow after God’s purposes for our life, it won’t be said that there were negative consequence of our life.

The tragedy is that too many of us live our life as if there are no negative consequences felt by others. When we live our lives on purpose and with God’s purpose, we will not only minimize our negative outcomes, we will maximize our positive ones.

We will make a difference not just in our families, but also in the Kingdom of God.

What is your purpose? Do you know?

A Final Thought

A rich man was determined to give his mother a birthday present that would outshine all others. He read of a bird that had a vocabulary of 4000 words. The bird could speak in numerous languages and sing 3 operatic arias. He immediately bought the bird for $50,000 and had it delivered to his mother. The next day he phoned to see if she had received the bird. “What did you think of the bird?” he asked.

She replied, “It was delicious.” (Source Unknown)

When our purpose is unknown, how sad does that make the heart of God? Can you answer this right now? When our purpose is unknown, how much does that negatively impact those around us? Gentlemen, do you love your family? Your Parents? Your wife and your children? When our purpose is unknown, how much have we diminished the blessings of God in our life?

What we need to understand is that God has a purpose for our life, we must discover it and then we must fulfill it.

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