Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Take my life...please..."

"Take my life and let it be
consecrated Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
let them  flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of They love..."

I remember the first time I heard our Sunday School superintendent read the first line of the hymn "Take my life and let it be..." (enjoy this video by Chris Tomlin) during our opening exercises.  It was one of those moments you never forget as a kid. 

My family watched Ed Sullivan's variety show almost religiously on Sunday evenings. Mom would make homemade pizzas, dad would break out a few bottles of his garage-brewed rootbeer. We'd gather our Lesson books for marking, and sit on a a blanket of newspapers for our weekly picnic in the living room in front of the TV. The Wonderful World of Disney, Bonanza, and Ed Sullivan were the line up for the only-show-in-town. And the previous Sunday, Henny Youngman had been the featured comic on Ed's show . 

So, as I sat in Sunday School that next Sunday morning, I couldn't help but remember his now famous line "
take my wife...please," and started giggling...and then my friends started giggling, and soon everyone in our class was giggling so hard, we couldn't sing.  Mrs. Garren wasn't pleased.  From that moment on, this was my first thought everytime I heard the words to that hymn (unfortunately for me a favorite of our Superintendent) being read from the desk.  All through my years in Sunday School it would happen, giggling, disappointed looks from the teacher...it happened every time.

Whether it was the break from congregational hymn singing I took in my early twenties, or just the simple fact that I became an adult, once I heard that hymn again, as a somewhat more mature listener, it felt inspiring and invigorating.  It was like a "working song" for the consecrated spiritual thinker's labor union.

And now, I love it...alot.  There are days when I feel like singing it, holding aloft a banner of solidarity, and marching around my office like a contemporary Norma Rae!

This week's Scriptural keynote from the Christian Science weekly Bible Lesson:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits..."

had me hanging out in the spiritual labor union office today.  It encouraged me to think about, and appreciate, the extraordinary "benefits package" I enjoy as a fully vested employee in my Father's, spiritual law office.

Mary Baker Eddy says that,

"The Christian Scientist has enlisted..."

and I have.  I wake up every day with only one purpose...to:

"of mine own self do nothing, but see what the Father doeth..."

I am a witness, an observer, a deep listener, a focused, transfixed, refusing to be distracted sentinel with only one thing in my sights...God.  I live to behold...to "see and call attention to" the presence of God...everywhere, in everything, at all times, in everyone, throughout every day, and penetrating every moment.

I am a blue-collar law clerk in the office of God...and only God, where the senior partner is Christ.  I am a willing multi-function employee, clerk, assistant, colleague.  I love my time at the reception desk where I answer the phone, take messages, reply to emails.  I thoroughly enjoy the hours and hours I spend in the law library researching precedent setting cases in the Bible and contemporary publications that chronicle spiritual healing.  I am always honored to be asked to sit at counsel's table in the court room.  Serving the senior partner is fun, sitting next to him and looking into the eyes of the firm's client with great love and encouragement...as I have seen him do so often...is a privilege unlike any other.

But back to my benefits package, which I have promised to "forget not"

Job Security:

"Security for the claims of harmonious existence
is found only in divine Science." 
-  Mary Baker Eddy

There is no greater job security than knowing that your employer will never go out of business and that the work that you do for Him is always going to be of value to His clients.  Humanity will never stop hungering for His love, thirsting for Her wisdom, seeking the bread of salvation and the wine of inspiration He serves, longing for Her tender mercies and loving kindnesses. And my Employer values my devotion to this work...I feel secure in His care.

Health Care Package:

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest
prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."
- John

My Employer, who by the way has all the power in the universe, wants me to prosper and be in health...enough said.

Vision Plan:

"Open Thou his eyes that he may see...
wondrous things out of Thy law"
- Psalms

The HR department at my firm is continually advocating for clarity of vision, a more expanded awareness of good,  greater depth of field, and a more focused line of sight that always, and only, includes His well-framed and light-filled forms of creation.

Retirement and Investment Plan:

"Three times a day, I retire to seek the divine blessing on the sick and sorrowing, with my face toward the Jerusalem of Love and Truth, in silent prayer to the Father which "seeth in secret," and with childlike confidence that He will reward "openly."  -  Mary Baker Eddy

My Employer has the best retirement plan ever...retiring three times daily to seek His blessing in prayer.   Otherwise, from this job I need never retire.  And why would I want to?  I can't imagine a day without the joy of this work.  As for a 401K or matching contribution package...don't need one.  My employer takes care of everything...day by day the manna falls in our office. 

Life Insurance:

"The understanding that Life is God, Spirit,
lengthens our days by strengthening our trust
in the deathless reality of Life,
its almightiness and immortality."

- Mary Baker Eddy

This is all the insurance I need in the deathless reality of Life, and my Employer ensures this for me every moment of every day.

Child Care:

"All thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."
- Psalms

God not only cares for my children day in and day out, but He educates them, guides their footsteps, guards their innocence, and gives them wisdom.  I can focus on my work with absolute confidence each day knowing that in His hand their names are graven.  He loves them even more than I do, and never lets them out of His sight.

Promotions Program:

"He crowneth thee with lovingkindness
and tender mercies..."
- Psalms

The higher I rise in His company...the more I go down in humility, and on my knees, in service to Him.  My job becomes even more focused on expressing His loving kindness and ever more of His tender mercies.

So, I really mean it when I say, "take my life...please."  Serving Him is the greatest joy I have ever known.  It is the most satisfying and fulfilling work I have ever known.  I can't imagine a day when I don't wake up eager to head "into the office" and be the first one to arrive so that I can turn on the lights for the rest of the firm.

I will never forget His generous benefits package...there is no other employer on earth who cares for their colleagues with such tender care. 

"Take my silver and my gold,
not a mite will I withhold.
Take my every thought, to use
in the way that Thou shalt choose. 
Take my love; O Lord, I pour
at Thy feet its treasure store.
I am Thine, and I will be
every, only, all for Thee."

- Francis R. Havergal

Ever, only, all for thee....

Kate Robertson, CS

If you would like to see (and hear) another version of Chris Tomlin performing this song, "
Take my Life" live, here is the video.

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