Vanity, This Insanity

Over the past year planting Stone Mountain Village Church, I’ve directed most of my writing efforts towards sermons. It’s been a fun change of pace, but I miss the spontaneity of creative writing—no end in mind, no deadline, no agenda. So I set down this morning with a pen and my notebook. This is what happened. It was a needed reminder even (and especially) to myself that I am nothing. If there is any breath in my lungs, any blood circulating in my veins, any ability to comprehend the world around me, it is a gift given by God to know Him and make Him known. So may we forgo the insanity of the vain pursuit of self-exaltation, for we have more than we could ever earn, infinitely more than we deserve, because God, the Almighty, Benevolent King of the Cosmos, has given himself to us.

What am I chasing
and for what am I hoping?
Fame and applause
to fuel my own cause
as if I don’t need You
to fuel everything I do?
It’s cynical. I’m insane
toiling, chasing the wind in vain.
I’m sailing on the winds
of illusion, but I depend
on You for my next
breath. As it exits
a pause to remember
that You are its Giver
and what You’ve given
can be taken
in a moment, so I
best not rise high
to that lofty sky
where the air is deadly
and my wings unsteady
in the radiance of glory
I want for my story,
but it’s Yours alone
Oh, I’m so prone
to forget it.
Help me not miss it.
Open my eyes to see
that You’ve given me
life when I was dead
and anointed my hung head
with gladness. Can it be
that I have all I need
because You have me
and I have You? See!
It’s vanity
this insanity—
searching for applause
and approval because
I have more—yes, more!—
joy than all those can store.
In every breath taken,
remember it’s given—
an undeserved gift
to raise high and lift
not my momentary name
but Jesus’ everlasting fame.