Today, I’ve listened to loads of my music collection as I’ve been working, and most of them I couldn’t tell you what they were right now, but there’s one that’s really gotten me thinking.
It’s by Nicole Nordeman, and it’s an album I’ve had for a couple of years but the first line of the song really made me think in relation to stuff that’s been going on recently. The line is “I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me“. I (like lots of other people I would guess) find it really tempting to not mind so much what negative things people say about me as long as there are others being nice to and about me! This is a situation that’s occurred recently and I realised today that my thinking has been pretty much along those lines which is totally wrong because I am becoming the centre of it all!
Nicole’s last words sum it up pretty well I think: “ I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile, To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy, It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile , Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy , Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred , Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…“.”
It’s like the old “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”, except for the fact that names can indeed hurt us (a lot!) and it’s the fact that names don’t matter that’s important. What matters is hearing ” Well Done good and faithful one…” for fixing my eyes on Jesus and not wavering even when it’s so tempting! That has to be our motives for doing all things, not the praise we may get from “the world” because that won’t last – it’ll rot away. Others are important in encouraging us to keep going but it can not be their words alone that cause us to keep going, otherwise we are doing it merely for flattery!
Now there are issues of reconciliation and forgiveness involved here, and of course we must forgive those who have hurt us (even before they ask for it!) and must seek to be reconciled – but we do this because we are relationship with the God of the Universe and not because we want to leave a great legacy that screams in years to come “How great was s/he!”, but we want them to realise how great He is!
Ultimately I want to be one who ” hang[s] my hat on more besides the temporary trappings of this world” and constantly points to the one who made all things!
Here’s the full lyrics of the song:
I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who’s who and so-n-so’s that used to be the best
At such’n’such … it wouldn’t matter muchI won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world
I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy
Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…