What is your line?

We sang one of my favourite hymns at church yesterday, ‘Be Thou My Vision’. It was interesting because just the night before, I was reading on John Milton and ‘Paradise Lost’, and learnt that Milton became blind in his later years. He was lamenting on his loss of sight and wondered how he could still be of use to God and man. Out of this, he wrote a beautiful poem that speaks of disappointment, hope, and how God views our service to Him. Here’s the poem:

“When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
I was also struck by the last line because I’ve heard it being alluded to a couple of times. I think it’s interesting when you hear a phrase or allusion and you know where it’s from. And I find it even more amazing when people are able to quote lines or words in a relevant and timely way.

But not having sight is one thing, not having vision is another. Helen Keller, that remarkable American deaf and blind author and activist, famously said that the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. If we have no vision, we just drift in this life, with no destination at the endpoint. We need to have a vision towards a goal, of how we want our lives to be written. It is said that every day of our lives, we are writing that one line that will appear as the epitaph on our tombstone. What is your line?

~ by irwin on October 20, 2008.

One Response to “What is your line?”

  1. my line’s a bit long.

    “he’s someone who made a particular someone else fall truly, madly and deeply in love with, over and over again.”

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