THINGS WELL DONE
IT be granted that you are a person of ordinary ability. Perhaps you will never
be removed into a wider sphere than the one in which you have been pining like a
wood-bird in its cage. Give up your useless regret, your querulous complaint,
and begin to meet the call of trivial commonplace, with tenderness to each
person you encounter, with faith in God as doing his best for you, with heroic
courage and unswerving fidelity, with patience, thoroughness, submission. Go on
acting thus week in and week out, year by year, with no thought of human notice,
determined always to be at your best, eager only to pay out without stint the
gold of a noble, unselfish heart. At the end of life, though you may know not
that your face glistens, others will see you shining like the sun in your
heavenly Father’s kingdom. It will be discovered that you have a great and
noble life, and you will be greeted on the threshold of heaven with the “well
done” of your Lord.
who are sighing for a great life are unconsciously living it in the eye of
God’s angels. Those who meet the incessant demand of monotonous tasks with
gentleness, unselfishness, and the wealth of a strong, true heart—these,
though they know it not, are graduating for the front ranks of heaven’s
nobility. It is a greater thing to do little things well than those which seem
more important. They who daily handle matters that bulk largely before the eyes
of their fellows are expected to act from great motives and to behave worthily
in their great and important positions. The statesman is expected to be
high-minded, the Christian lady to be virtuous, the minister to be earnest.
There is no special credit to any of these for being what they profess and are
expected to be. The current is with them. Their difficulty would be to face it.
Surely in God’s sight it is a much greater when the soul conquers adverse
circumstances and rises superior to the drift of associations. To be high-minded
when your companions are mean and degraded; to be chaste when ease and wealth
beckon you to enter the gate of vice; to be devout or zealous when no one
expects it: to do small things from great motives—this is the loftiest
attainment of the soul. It is a greater thing to do an unimportant thing from a
great motive for God, for truth, for others, than to do an important one;
greater to suffer patiently each day a thousand stings than die once as a martyr
at the stake.
an obscure life really offers more opportunities for nurture of the loftiest
type of character, just because it is less liable to be visited by those meaner
considerations of notoriety or applause or money which intrude themselves into
more prominent positions and scatter their deadly taint.
can not be brave in a crisis if you are habitually a coward. You can not be
generous with a fortune if you are a miser with a limited income. You can not be
unselfish in some accident that imperils life if you are always pressing for the
one vacant seat on a train or a street-car, and elbowing your way to the front
on every possible occasion. David must practise with sling and stone through
long hours in the wilderness, or he will never bring down Goliath. Joseph must
be pure in thought and strong in private self-discipline, or he will never
resist the solicitation of the temptress. The Sunday-school teacher must be
regular, painstaking, faithful in conducting his class of girls and boys, or he
will never be promoted to serve his Master as a minister at home or as a
course, we can not be saved by works only. There is no saving merit in what we
do. Salvation is only by simple trust in our Savior, Jesus. But when we are
saved, it gives new zest to life to do all for him as Lord and Master, and to
know that he is well pleased in the right doing of the most trivial duties of
the home or daily business.
each reader learn this happy art, and go through life offering all to God as the
white-robed priests in the temple of old. Indeed, all believers, those who have
been born again, have been made priests unto God; every sphere may be a holy
temple; and every act done in the name of Jesus may be a spiritual sacrifice,
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.