The boy was barely a year old when the atomic bomb dropped just 100 miles from his home. Six years later during his school’s show and tell, a classmate played the violin using the Suzuki method and the little boy fell in love with both the music and the instrument.
Years later as a sophomore in college he learned American bluegrass legend Roy Acuff was touring Japan and the young man went to one of his concerts. Backstage he met his hero and was thrilled when the superstar suggested he should someday visit him in America. At that moment, the young musician knew he wanted to follow his dream and pursue a career playing country and bluegrass music. Not long afterward he and his band won a national Japanese music competition.
Shoji Tabuchi eventually came to the United States and with only $500 and his violin he began doing shows. Acuff became a mentor of sorts and helped the young entertainer get on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. The gifted young fiddler visited Branson around 1980 and soon began performing there. He opened his own theater in 1990 and Tabuchi was on his way to becoming a Branson legend. Over the next 30 years countless thousands were delighted by his remarkable show.
He achieved remarkable success, performing with country legends Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty and others. He even performed at the White House in 2006. While I never attended one of his shows, I heard from those who did that he was an incredible musician and entertainer.
Earlier this month when the senior adults from my church visited Branson, I learned the famous fiddler had recently died from pancreatic cancer on August 11, 2023. He was 79. The famous entertainer’s tragic death illustrates the reality that our earthly lives are brief no matter who we are. King David described how short life is this way, “Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.” (Psalm 103:15, NLT)
When we are young, life seems to stretch before us like an endless highway, but as we age most of us begin to reflect on how fast life goes. This is true of everyone, whether we are legends, or known only to friends and family.
We cannot slow the advance of time, however, because life passes quickly, each of us needs to live every day to the fullest and prepare to meet God when our life ends. Living with this perspective and wisdom will not extend our lives, but it can help us make each day count.