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Sitting on Two Chairs

by Alan Smith

The famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti once said, "When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song. He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college.

On graduating, I asked my father, 'Shall I be a teacher or a singer?' 'Luciano,' my father replied, 'if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.'

I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. An now I think whether it's laying bricks, writing a book -- whatever we choose -- we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that's the key. Choose one chair."

Pavarotti's words are not only good advice in choosing a career, but good spiritual advice. Too often, the mistake we make is that we are too divided. We want to focus on both the things of this world and the things of God, but it's not possible. "If you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them."

Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8). Gary Henry has written, "What we need to do is develop a more single-minded love for God. We need to eliminate any concerns that compete for our allegiance to God and resolve to give Him nothing less than our whole hearts...A worthy and fruitful relationship with God must be more than simply one item on a crowded agenda. It must be the central focus and aim of our lives, the only thing that really matters."

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Matthew 6:24).

The choice is yours. But just remember-- "If you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them."

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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