Michael Woodhead

A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE

"Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever." - Job 19:23,24

Surely, at some time in every person's life, there is the deep yearning to write down in words the experiences of the Self; surely, every person desires to see some words of his own pressed neatly onto the whitened page of an anthology of great works.

For some, this wish indeed happens; for others, the desire fades like the passing of a dream.

How many of those romanticists actually begin to set down on paper the first words of that Great-Novel-of-the-Ages, that masterpiece of poetic prose, that paean of praise?

I must confess that I, too, have trod that well-worn, honoured highway. I have seen many thousands of words flow from the point of my pen and drop into the eternal darkness of the garbage can. I have experienced the unmatched thrill of writing over one thousand songs and lyrics, but seeing none of them in published form. I have begun the first paragraphs of dozens of novels, only to toss them aside as I felt the weight of indolence on my shoulders.

Was it all worth it? For what reason, I thought to myself, should I commit all the words, the picturesque and colourful passages to paper? No one will read them; no one will heap accolades of praise upon my beleaguered shoulders.


It was not until ten years later that the truth would flood upon my soul and confer upon me a newfound freedom.

As my heart was being torn apart within me, I confided to an acquaintance my innermost thoughts. Do you think it's even worthwhile, I asked, to do so much work on songs and novels and other written works that no one will probably ever read?

The answer he gave startled me at the time, but it opened my mind to a new viewpoint, a new perspective, and a new dimension from which to approach my works.

"My friend," he remarked with a smile, "you are approaching the problem from the wrong direction. It doesn't matter whether the world reads your books, hears your songs, or sees your art. What does matter is that God knows your heart. God is the one who sees the creation of prose and poetry; God hears the songs you compose and sing. God is the one who cares about all that you do."

The truth of this statement burst upon me in a way it had never done before.

Now I realized that I had been writing and singing and drawing with the wrong motive, for the wrong audience.

It is not for others that I produce my creations, nor for myself, but for the very Creator of the universe -- for it is God who has given me my gifts, and it is to the Creator that the products of the gifts should be returned.

And this is the purpose of every person -- to return to the Giver the fruit of the gift.


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