Saturday, November 17

He made us in order to use us for His purposes, not our own

I am currently re-reading Evelyn Underhill's The Spiritual Life.  It is one of those rare classics that continues to speak as freshly today as it did when first published in 1937. While the book is in reality a series of transcribed radio broadcast talks, it remains a powerful reminder that we belong to Him, and God doesn't have to explain himself to us or make things work according to how we want them to be.

"He made us in order to use us, and use us in the most profitable way; for His purpose, not ours. To live a spiritual life means subordinating all other interests to that single fact.
Sometimes our positions seems to be that of tools; taken up when wanted, used in ways which we had not expected for an object on which our opinion is not asked, and then laid down.
Sometimes we are the currency used in some great operation, of which the purpose is not revealed to us.
Sometimes we are servants, left year in, year out to the same monotonous job.
Sometimes we are conscious fellow-workers with the Perfect, striving to bring the Kingdom in.
But whatever our particular place or job may be, it means the austere conditions of the workshop, not the free-lance activities of the messy but well-meaning amateur; clocking in at the right time and tending the machine in the right way. Sometimes, perhaps, carrying on for years with a machine we do not very well understand and do not enjoy; because it needs doing, and no one else is available. Or accepting the situation quite quietly when a job we felt that we were managing excellently is taken away. Taking responsibility if we are called to it, or just bringing the workers their dinner, cleaning and sharpening the tools. All self-willed choices and obstinacy drained out of what we thought to be our work; so that it becomes more and more God's work in us." (pages 75-76)

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