I sat down at the computer today with great intentions to write about an observation or two that had been part of my walk here. But, yesterday the choir director handed out the CDs for our Easter cantata, “My Utmost for His Highest”. “Here, have a listen and I’ll hand out the music on Tuesday night,” he told us.
‘I’ll listen to this while I write,’ I reasoned.
But the music said “Oh, No! You won’t!”
It started with bagpipes playing “I’d Rather Have Jesus”, made famous by George Beverly Shea from the Billy Graham Revivals. Both men are near 100 years old, but when asked about their thoughts about life and faith, each one unequivocally affirmed their unshakable belief.
The music continued and moved into the words of memorable Christians in years past:
Remember the Scottish missionary Eric Liddel who ran for English in the 1896 Olympics? Those memorable words about “God made me fast…” He ran for the Gold medal, then moved out of the public eye. He went to China where he served God until he died at a young age .
Remember Corrie Ten Boom? She wrote The Hiding Place about her experiences in a death camp during World War Two. While the writing told a riveting story of survival and faith, the book is mainly about faith and forgiveness. Her own steps of forgiveness, and her steps to forgive the German guards who caused the death of her sister and many many others.
There were other voices whose names I did not know, but words were familiar. The book written by Oswald Chambers has reached out to Man in a way that humble pastor never anticipated. Compiled after his death by his wife, My Utmost for His Highest, these devotions pull the reader into a closer relationship for God.
The voices heard on my CD each spoke of abandoning personal goals, and giving all to God. Giving “My Utmost for His Highest”—can or do I do that? Do I love God with such passion and selflessness that I can be used by Him to effect change in a harsh and corrupt world?
I have been negligent in shouting out "Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Light! NO ONE comes to the Father, except through Jesus!" So afraid of offending, afraid of confronting other beliefs. So afraid I will have to summon courage to be what God wants me to be.
As we practice this cantata for Easter on April 8th, I will be asking that question daily. I invite you to ask this question as well.