Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Longing for Greatness - M. Laycock

Some time ago I watched a video that I’d heard a lot about. People said it was inspiring. They said I just had to watch it. Sometimes I ignore these kinds of messages, but eventually I gave in and clicked into UTube to see what all the fuss was about.

The small screen showed a rather plumb, unassuming middle aged man with crooked teeth. He stood at a microphone looking decidedly unsure of himself. Then the camera panned to four judges watching him. Their expression seemed to say, “okay, let’s just get this over with.” Finally one of them asked why he was there. “To sing opera,” he said simply. The judges smirked. I think one of them rolled his eyes. But they let him go ahead.

Then the man opened his mouth. The judges’ jaws dropped. The man’s voice boomed out as he sang from his heart and soul. Some in the audience began to weep. So did one of the judges. When he was done the audience was on its feet cheering for the cell phone salesman who had just demonstrated that you can’t always tell a book by its cover.

The man’s name was Paul Potts and he went on to win the competition called Britain’s Got Talent. He’s a star now, singing around the world and recording cd’s. His is a fairytale success story that has captured the imagination of millions around the world. It made me wonder why.

Why have so many, and I count myself among them, responded so strongly to Mr. Potts’ performance? I think it’s because all of us have a part in us that says, “there’s something great in me, if I can just find a way to let it out.” Some might call that ‘delusions of grandeur.’ I think it’s something more. I think it’s a deep belief that we are more than we seem to be.

And we are. When God created the first man he “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). He also created him “in his own image” (Gen. 1:27). Man is much more than just a bunch of bones, tissue and blood. We were created to house the very spirit of God himself, to be a temple and in a sense a representative of God. And we were created to express that greatness, to the glory of God. I think we all feel that, even long for it to be fulfilled – it’s a longing for the nobility, the beauty, even the glory we were intended to have.

Perhaps that’s why, when we writers finish an article or a book or a poem, we have doubts. We know it can be better. We long for it to be better. Our hope lies in the reality that some day it will be.

Heaven, you say? Well, not exactly. I believe there is a Heaven and we will be there one day, but I also believe, as the scripture tells us, we will return to the earth to “reign with Him for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)

I don’t think we’ll be floating around with harps in our hands. I think God has a lot in store for us during that time and it will include using the gifts he has given us. I think writers will be diligently sitting at their work, writing. But it won’t be a struggle - it will be the best it can be, no doubts, no longings, no regrets. It will continue to be our method of praise and worship, our “acceptable service.” It will be full of the nobility, beauty and yes glory that God intends us all to exhibit. All to His glory.

That short video of Paul Potts made me weep. Until Jesus returns I will always have that longing in my heart, because I am a child of God yet separated from Him. My encouragement comes from walking the path He has laid out for me now and feeling His presence with me. My hope lies in the reality that one day we will be reunited.

Come, Lord Jesus!

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