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To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.

—Leonard Bernstein


This well-known quote by American-born composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein usually elicits laughter; partly because of its wittiness, but mostly because it hits very close to the truth. As a composer, Bernstein probably experienced the intensity of a deadline. I am sure that he constantly felt the pressure of the never-enough-time orchestral rehearsal schedule. But this quote belies a recognition that there is something about greatness that is out of our control. Great things often appear when there is a combination of planning and serendipity. Kingdom reality happens when our actions meets the Spirit’s breath. A miracle is miraculous because there’s “not enough.” Not enough time, not enough energy, not enough money, not enough people.

But God is always more than we need. To achieve great things, invite the Spirit to make up the “not enough.”


This week’s playlist includes Bernstein conducting two of his own works, plus Mahler’s Adagio. Bernstein’s Jeremiah is regarded as one of the best tone poems of the 20th century, and the Symphonic Dances to West Side Story is guaranteed to make you smile.


ST#148 – Leonard Bernstein

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Preview YouTube video Gustav Mahler – Adagietto | Leonard Bernstein

Gustav Mahler – Adagietto | Leonard Bernstein