By Ada Brownell
“I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 24:30-34 NIV).
The beautiful tune “Dust in the Wind,” recently brought back on American Idol, tells a mournful story of how dreams and lives blow away into nothing but dust. How such a beautiful melody could have these discouraging words is beyond me. Life is a wonderful thing and can be glorious here and forever. Yet, unless we guard ourselves, all our hopes blow away like topsoil in a wind storm.
A person can’t grow a garden unless he plants, waters, hoes, weeds, and harvests. Often he has to protect plants from worms, animals, frost and pray it won’t hail or flood. In the days when people’s survival depended on growing their own food, most worked every spare moment to reach that dream.
Life is like growing a crop. Yet too many people don’t plant for their future. People who do great things work, try and struggle until they succeed.
One guy who decided to grasp a dream was Paul Tutmarc of Seattle, Washington, who traveled in a band and felt sorry for the acoustic bass fiddle player, who always drove alone because his huge instrument left room in his car only for the driver.
From age fifteen, Paul Tutmarc had an interest in steel guitars—the ones usually used in Hawaiian music. He became an accomplished musician and wanted to magnify the sound of the steel. He looked at the innards of the telephone to see how it worked to pick up sound and began tinkering with it. Bob Wisner, a radio repairman, worked with Paul, and they figured out how to use electronic amplification on musical instruments.
Paul electrified zithers, pianos, and Spanish guitars.
Then he carved an electronic “bass fiddle” about the size and shape of a cello and the first electric bass guitar came into being in 1933. Paul eventually made a forty-two-inch-long solid-body bass, which was lighter and smaller. The guitar was featured in the 1935 sales catalog for Tutmarc’s company, Audiovox.
The bass guitar, however, didn’t become popular until the 1950s, when Leo Fender, with employee George Fullerton, developed the first mass-produced instrument.
Next time you hear a loud, pulsating bass guitar behind a band, remember Paul Tutmarc, who began his music career in a church choir and caught a dream. Paul’s dream took work, practice, and trial and error, and so does becoming the Christian our Creator hopes for us to be.
Desire and talent don’t necessarily guarantee success, according to experts. Often it is the less talented and gifted who achieve great things because they won’t stop working toward their goals—no matter how many obstacles they face or how often they face rejection or disappointment. On the other hand, greatly talented people can go to their graves without doing anything of significance.
What makes the difference? We decide to take what we were born with and grow it into something greater.
Jesus said, “For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7 NKJ).
 Released by American Progressive Band. Written by Kerry Livgren.