As I soaked up some live, well-played and beautiful piano music yesterday afternoon, my soothed mind went back to a verse discussed in my Sunday School class earlier that day - Colossians 3:23-24.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
"With all your heart..." Some versions say "heartily," which according to Wesley's Notes means "cheerfully, diligently." It literally means "from the soul" and "with personal interest."
Wesley makes this comment: "Menpleasers are soon dejected and made angry: the single-hearted are never displeased or disappointed; because they have another aim, which the good or evil treatment of those they serve cannot disappoint."
In verse 22 of the same chapter, Paul is speaking to servants, admonishing them to "obey in everything" their earthly masters, doing so sincerely and with the aim to please God, not men. In verse 23, he carries the admonition further - "Whatever you do" do it "heartily"!
I suppose you could say that verses 23-24 only apply to slaves, but the basic Biblical principle can be applied to us all. In his letters Paul says we are no longer slaves to sin, but bondservants of Christ. A bondservant was one, who although offered his freedom, willingly chose to stay with and serve his master. Paul referred to himself as a "bondservant of Jesus Christ." And, in verse 24, the Apostle reminds the slaves who he is addressing, that although they have earthly masters, ultimately they are "serving the Lord Christ."
So, yes, I do believe Colossians 3:23-24 applies to all Christians - "bondservants" of Christ.
What does piano music then have to do with being a bondservant? I like the "whatever" in verse 23 because it means exactly what it says - whatever you do. So, whether it be playing the piano, writing a blog, sweeping the floor, caring for children, washing the dishes, doing schoolwork, working in a secular job, visiting with a neighbor - the list is endless - do it all from your heart and to please the Lord.
He is our Master and it brings Him such pleasure when we use what He has given us, whether it be time, resources, talents, gifts, jobs or tasks.
I like this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
I personally believe that God cares more about our heart attitude in "whatever" we do, more so than the "what."
"How happy would true religion make the world, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state of things, and every relation of life!" - Matthew Henry