How to Build Something Beautiful in Your Life

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I think many of us who are in our senior years often look back and think of all the things we should have / could have done with our lives. As the years run by, we long to do something that will count, and yet can we? Do we have time left to make a difference in today’s world?

Challenging Sermon

Yesterday in church, the minister quoted from a book by Malcolm Muggeridge titled, Something Beautiful for God. It seems that this worldly skeptical author experienced a dramatic conversion to Christianity because of Mother Teresa’s exemplary influence. He hails her as a “light which could never be extinguished.”

He first interviewed her for the BBC. The interview became so popular that a year later he traveled to Calcutta with a film crew to produce a documentary about Mother Teresa’s work among the poor people of that city. The documentary was called “Something Beautiful for God,” a title which would subsequently be given to his book about Mother Teresa.

One of Mother Teresa’s favorite Scripture verses was “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” She lived and died according to that Scripture. Muggeridge’s book covers mostly the author’s conversations with this Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1979) and contains many of her quotes.

Yet it was not Mother Teresa’s life that yesterday’s preacher chose to draw attention to, but her belief that we each are able to do something beautiful with our lives. Mother Teresa stressed it didn’t need to be something big or heroic.

Mother Teresa’s philosophy in life:

'Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.' ~ Mother Teresa Click To Tweet

On the same line, she also said,

'I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.' Mother Teresa Click To Tweet

At the end of the sermon, the preacher urged us to look for the “something beautiful” God has called us to do. If we couldn’t identify it, the minister urged us to look for it. It may be something small, like that little pencil (who, in God’s hands, did a tremendous work for the Lord). But if the Lord has called us to do it, its value is priceless, and its effect will be immeasurable. But if we could already identify it, herein lay the challenge. Were we using it to grow something beautiful? Or were we just seeking to make the best of it?

I was truly challenged and immediately identified two areas where the Lord had called me.

1. He’s called me to write for Him.

I admit I never saw my writing as “something beautiful.” I write the best I can, and produce the most professional work I am able to do, but something beautiful? Is my writing sending a gift to the world? An action of love? A beautiful thing? I find that concept challenging as well as exciting. It increases my desire to write, and to “write to inspire” (my tagline). Not everyone is called to write amazing trilogies or blockbuster movies. Even a “little pencil in the hand of a writing God” can send “a love letter to the world.”

2. He has also called my husband and I to a ministry called Prime Timers

where we seek to reach the over 50’s in our community. We deliberately don’t try to turn it into a Gospel meeting. We’re wanting people to come to the meeting who would normally never darken a church door. For a nominal donation, they receive top rate entertainment, a good morning tea with cakes and snacks, and fellowship around tables. And we see to it that there is something inspirational in each program to point them to God and their need for Him.

Mother Teresa by Manfredo Ferrari

Suddenly, a light bulb went off for both of us.

Is what we’re doing something beautiful? And are we doing it for Him? If the answers to both of those are “Yes,” we’re on the right track.

“There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.” ~ Mother Theresa

How about you?

What are you doing that is beautiful?

I close with one last quote.

'There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.' ~ Mother Teresa Click To Tweet

After you’ve left a comment, do yourself a favor and click on this link to hear a wonderful rendition of “Something Beautiful” by Bill Gaither.

12 comments on “How to Build Something Beautiful in Your Life

  1. Shirl, I would add that you do beautiful things for us, your CWOSA flock. Constantly encouraging and coaxing us along to be the best we can be. I’m sure I don’t only speak for myself when I say we love and appreciate you more than you know!

  2. Great thoughts Shirley and a great reminder to do all things with love and not for the sake of just doing them! About doing GREAT things – I have come to realize by now that we also never know…we might be the pencil that will write the trilogy, but we might also be the much needed pencil that will inspire the other pencil to write the trilogy? Have a blessed week!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sue. You’re so right! The pencil that witnessed to Billy Graham had NO IDEA what volume of books he was inspiring! Clever thought!

  3. I think that’s the secret to not burning out in ministry Shirley – if you are doing it in love and for the right reasons, then it brings joy rather than stress. Love the idea of the group you and your husband are running.

  4. Loved this devotion Shirl. I found the quote, “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love-letter to the world” written by Mother Teresa, a few years ago and used it in the Introduction of my last Book, “Life on the Narrow Road.” The quote is quite poignant as I write my devotions every morning in a little notebook – always using a pencil!

    • Thanks for the visit, Ann. What fun that you’ve used that quote as well. I think it’s an awesome concept, that I can be a little pencil in God’s hands! (Even though I definitely don’t USE a pencil. I use my pc or laptop for all my writing.)

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