Category Archives: poetry

Just content to be a son

Greetings friends and fellow bloggers. Tonight I would like to share a third poem which has long held special meaning for me. It is called Just Content to be a Son by George Warnock. I do believe I have shared this poem on the blog before but, like Paul said to the Philippians, perhaps it will do you some good for me to repeat myself once more. 🙂

By the way, the coming of the new blog title and design is imminent. Acquisition of the new theme has been made and all that is lacking at this point is the setup. Apparently these things are a bit trickier than I first realized. Either way, it won’t be much longer now. 

But without further adeiu, I give you Just Content to be a Son:  

Just content to be a son
With no ambition to succeed
In realms of earth, and have no need
Of popularity’s acclaim,
Or purchase for myself a name
In serving Christ; for He must be
The Lord throughout eternity.
To see His face and hear His voice,
And do His bidding is my choice.

Just content to be a son,
A son of God without a home,
To stay, or go, or wait, or roam…
Hither and yon without a plan,
Led of the Spirit, not of man.
I’ll have no monument of praise,
But I’ll have peace in God’s own ways;
And though I tread this earthly sod,
I’ll walk with Him, I live in God.

Just content to be a son,
Misunderstood, and yet I know
The path I take shall overflow
With life abundant and with grace.
I only need to run the race
With patience, waiting, seeing Him…
Hearing the still small voice within.
If others want the earth to quake…
I’ll hear His voice when I awake.

Just content to be a son,
No words to say… but what He says;
No work to do… but what He does;
No fear or worry, anxious care,
I live with Him, His yoke I share…
No name to make, He writes His own
Upon the heart’s pure glistening stone;
No life to live, I lay it down,
I’ll share His cross… and live again.
 


If

Last post I shared one of my favorite poems, Who am I? by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A few of my readers were kind enough to supplement the offering with one or two of their own, which you can read in the comments section of that post. 

Another poem I have enjoyed very much over the years is Rudyard Kipling’s If, which was first introduced to me by an old friend from Bible college days. When I read the lines I was immediately struck by the wisdom of Kipling’s words. In particular the verse “if all men count with you, but none too much” has come back to haunt me time and again throughout my own brief sojourn through this life. 

Kipling was an English poet who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1907. Here’s his poem, I hope you enjoy it.

 If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 


Who am I?

In the future I’d like to incorporate more poetry on this blog. There are at least three or four poems that come immediately to mind which have special meaning to me, and one of them is Dietrch Bonhoeffer’s Who am I, written from prison in Nazi Germany some time before his death in 1945. Dietrich writes,

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell’s confinement
Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,
Like a Squire from his country house.

Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equably, smilingly, proudly,
like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat,
Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,
Tossing in expectations of great events,
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance,
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all.

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,
And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army
Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine!

Beautiful words. I can relate to so much of the emtion conveyed through these verses, as I’m sure you probably can, too. If you don’t know much about Bonhoeffer I would encourage further study. His was an incredible life and message.

In the coming days I’ll share some more of my favorite poetry. In the meantime I would love to hear from my readers which poems you enjoy. The comments section is yours, so fire away! What is one of your favorite poems?


Just content to be a son & the reason for the lull in blogging

I know, I know. Here I go and promise more frequent postings on this blog and then just as suddenly I disappear. Well, I have my reasons. Aside from being monumentally busy these days (between work, church life, family life, and a massive bathroom renovation), I’m also stuck between Internet connections at the moment. Don’t worry, though. I hope to have all connectivity issues resolved shortly. Then back to posting. In the meantime, check out some of Alan Knox’s recent posts on itinerant servants (you may need to scroll back a few days to find them) and Frank Viola’s new blog entitled Beyond Evangelical.

Also, here for your reading pleasure is a poem from George Warnock called Just Content to be a Son. One of my favorite poems, it made a great impact on me during the time I was transitioning out of the institutional church.

“Just content to be a son,

With no ambition to succeed

In realms of earth, and have no need

Of popularity’s acclaim

Or purchase for myself a name

In serving Christ, for He must be

The Lord throughout eternity.

To see His face and hear His voice

And do His bidding is my choice.

 

“Just content to be a son-

A son of God without a home

To stay, or go, or wait, or roam-

Hither and yon without a plan,

Led of the Spirit and not of man;

I’ll have no monument of praise

But I’ll have peace in God’s own ways,

And though I tread this earthly sod

I walk with Him, I live in God.

 

“Just content to be a son-

Misunderstood, and yet I know

The path I take shall overflow

With life abundant and with grace,

I only need to run the race

With patience, waiting, seeing Him

Hearing the still, small voice within;

If others want the earth to quake

I’ll hear His voice when I awake.

 

“Just content to be a son-

No words to say but what He says,

No work to do but what He does,

No fear or worry, anxious care

I live with Him, His yoke I share

No name to make, He writes His own

Upon the heart’s pure, glistening stone

No life to live, I lay it down

I’ll share His cross and live again!”