no longer my own

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmond Burke

I choose to begin most mornings with a time of worship and prayer. Because I find great meaning in the liturgies of the Church, I often recite a liturgical prayer out of the United Methodist Hymnal that I have come to love. It goes something like this:

I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, Exalted for thee, or brought low by thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things To thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Thou art mine and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Even as I write this, our nation is grieving yet another senseless tragedy at the hands of a young man who allowed evil to triumph as the predominant influence in his life. In times like these, this particular prayer holds a special meaning within my spirit because it is a reminder to me of a couple of very important things…

First, I am a steward of all that God has given me. I am a steward of my life and my family. I am a steward of creation. I am a steward of the relationships that I have been blessed with and the interactions that I will have today. I am a steward of my vocation. I am a steward of today, and I am a steward of the time that I have been given on earth, in this community, and in this church. There are many elements that comprise my life, and none of them originated with me. Each and every one of them is a gift with the potential to become a blessing, dependent upon how I steward them…for my part.

Second, as a Christian my calling is to a covenantal relationship with God. This covenant is founded upon love. It is the same vast love that created the heavens and the earth, and the same specific love that formed the faces, hearts, and personalities of each of my daughters. Love, by its very nature, requires action…or it is not love. As a Christian, my calling is to act in love when I am nudged by the love of God, regardless of context, requirement, or comfort.

I truly believe that the national debate about firearms will have no impact whatsoever on the propensity of evil to triumph in a hurting and broken world…no matter which way the debate eventually goes. What I do think has the potential to have an impact on the world are the Christian people who choose, every morning, to be faithful stewards of the day that lies ahead; Christian people who, in each moment of each day, choose to act in love when nudged by the love of God…regardless of context, requirement, or comfort.

Today is a new day. It is a day given freely by the God of heaven and earth. It is a day that has the potential to be full of challenge, or full of blessing. Today is a day that the Lord has made, a day that we can choose to rejoice and be glad in. So, rejoice. Be glad. Do what God is doing, where God is doing it, and watch the world begin to change.

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