“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”Hebrews 11:13 NKJV
Havergal Brian’s life has been called a strange phenomenon. Born into a working-class family on this day in 1876, no one would have imagined that he was destined for a career in music.
Leaving school at age twelve, he worked in a coal mine, for timber firms, and for a carpenter. Yet, despite limited experience, he felt called to be a composer. His music attracted some attention, but the dominant reaction was rejection.
Many thought he was an eccentric. But some saw something satisfying. His champions included influential conductors but, in spite of their friendship, few performances were arranged. He could continue composing only because of the support of a wealthy businessman.
Even though he didn’t have tangible successes, Brian kept writing – piece after piece, for eighty years. It was called “one of the longest creative careers ever.” Yet not a note of his music was issued commercially during his lifetime. We can imagine how discouraged he felt at times. Only after he died in 1972 (at the age of 96) did his work begin attracting the acclaim he missed in his lifetime. His music finally was recorded and played in concerts.
His experience reminds us of Biblical principles. Whether or not we get attention or praise, we are to be good stewards of the resources God gives us. Always be faithful. Always work as unto God, trusting the results to Him.
Father, help me work as unto You. Help me to be a good steward. May You be pleased with my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.