Are You Contributing A Verse?

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
— Walt Whitman

These words, immortalized by Professor Keating in “Dead Poet’s Society” from 1989, were actually written over 100 years prior by Uncle Walt.  But the real irony, is that the actor who spoke of such life realized so little himself that he took his own life a few weeks ago.

His reading of the words of Whitman were so stirring that Apple had him recreate them for their recent iPad Air commercial.

The commercial is intoxicating.  Powerful images of life narrated by a powerful attestation to life.  But it is not in the eloquence of the reading, the incredible scenes, or even the words themselves.  The real power of this ad is that it points to something far deeper and far truer about each of us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
— Jesus

There is a life intended for each of us that is far beyond what many of us have hoped or dreamed.  It is at the very core of Jesus' mission… to heal, restore, and set free… that we may have that life and have it to the full.  It probably won’t surprise you that we have an enemy set against that life.  It is incredibly important to note that these two statements were offered one after the other.

In Isaiah 61:2-4, the reason we were healed and set free is revealed.  It is not only that we would have life, but that we would lead others to that life.  My friend Mitch says that it is so that we would “generatively govern,” that we would offer life through the mantle of our headship and leadership.  As resplendent image bearers of a most high God, life must emanate from us:

Only a heart healed and free can bring healing to others.

Only a life well lived can inspire others to live a good life.

Only living a better story with your life can help others rewrite theirs.

After walking with Jesus for 25 years, it was only 5 years ago that this powerful treasure of the Kingdom was revealed to me.  A Strategic LifePlan introduced me to the life I was intended to live and the clarity I found there has marked every footstep since.  I am living a different life.  I am communicating that life.  I am able to more generatively govern all who I have been called to lead.  I am learning to contribute my verse.

  • Do you know why you exist?
  • Are you bringing life to those you love and lead?
  • Do you know what God intended when He intended you?
  • What would you be willing to sacrifice to find out?