9/2/2016: Serve the Work

Madeleine L’Engle says to serve the work first and then serve the audience. One does not serve himself. I would prepend this with “serve God.”

Don’t want to write? This is the work that God has given to you. Serve God. Serve the work. Serve those who will read it. Serve with all the effort and intelligence and stubbornness you have.

I read a compliment someone gave a friend of mine’s piece. They loved his prose. And I responded (internally) with what must have been vehemence. “Really? I didn’t think so at all.” It was almost like I refused to believe that he had any talent at all (and, though it’s too clichéd to hold much meaning anymore, I wonder if it’s just my need to feel superior that makes me blind to the talent he has).That led to strong feelings about all the various successes he has attained (or seems to have). I will not list them here. But I was jealous. I had a sickly combination of “Why not me, God!” and “I’m definitely better than him because of ____ and _____ and _____.”

But I was reminded that I am not called to success (3/20/2017: Not as “success” is typically defined, which is the type of success I refer to in this document). And shortly after this I remembered one of my favorite songs and listened to Ginny Owens’ version on Youtube:

 

 

Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High king of heaven, my treasure thou art

I can’t remember the last time more appropriate words came when I needed them (though I’m sure it’s happened). I heed riches. I heed praise. Success is first in my heart, and God my least treasure.

Be thou my vision, Lord. Let naught be all else to me. High king of heaven, steal back your throne.

Serve God. Serve the work. Serve your audience. Do it with everything you have, for that’s what you’ve been called to do, and this is the work God has put before you.

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