The Winter Olympics gave us another opportunity to vicariously join in the quest for a place in history – years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice for both personal and national glory – fidelity to a lifelong goal that defines success in hundredths of a second or tenths of a point. Stories are told that draw us into journeys often overcoming great adversity from across the globe, but all which intersect in one place: Going for the Gold.
Among many other sponsors, Apple sought to inspire and capitalize on these emotions by introducing a provocative commercial campaign entitled “What will your verse be?” (view ad here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiyIcz7wUH0). A remix from both the poetry of Walt Whitman and the script of Dead Poet’s Society (see short clip here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1esgRV4Rc), they unveil stirring and powerful images coupled with people using the iPad as Robin Williams once again declares,
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering–these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love–these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life! of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: that you are here – that life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.’ That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
While Apple certainly hopes each of us will exclaim in our hearts, “O iPad! My iPad!” as we do our composing, they do present an interesting question, “What will your verse be?” If each of us has the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the overall work in this great poem of humanity we call “life,” then what will you say?
Existence. Life. For most, it’s The Story of Me, starring me. Very exciting, right up to the part where you hear, “The End,” they role credits, and shovel dirt on your casket. Far better, The Story of God, starring God, where “me” is privileged by His great love and grace to play a significant part in a glorious epic of eternal proportions!
History is His-Story and, in Christ, our “verse” is not added to a poem whose purpose is to glorify man’s fleeting accomplishments – however grand. Rather, the body of this work is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. To lament with Whitman the seeming futility and foolishness of life only to arrive at his “answer” falls woefully short of our Sovereign design and purpose. The Almighty has given us breath so that the Answer from our lips is “Jesus” and our “verse” is to His glory.
There’s no doubt that every person alive can make a meaningful impact in this world, but to fully realize your potential – to multiply your giftedness exponentially – to anchor everything you put your hands to in divine purpose and fulfillment, you must dedicate yourself to Jesus.
It may be our verse, but it’s His poem. We are His “workmanship” – which, in the Greek, is His “poiema.” What will your verse be?
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
© 2014 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries