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“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”

“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me”

I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!

I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, anytime!
African-American spiritual

This African-American spiritual is a simple hymn. It states that the singer is going to live, work, pray, and sing so that he/she is available to be used by God for any purpose, anywhere and at anytime. Such sentiments require openness to the call of God to serve others. It also requires the ability to discern what needs to be done to further God’s reign of peace and justice.

The writers of individual spirituals are unknown. Often the “writing” was a community project and came out of the slaves’ struggle for survival. Many spirituals were rhythmic, easily taught, and contained images of the ordinary life of the slaves. In the this spiritual to live, work, pray, and sing were daily activities and all was to be done for and with God.

Reflect on this hymn and the questions/thoughts that follow as you live into this new year:
How do you keep open to God’s call of service, witness, and action?

Discernment is a lifelong activity and is enabled by the Holy Spirit working through friends, family, events, prayers, Scripture, and hymns. How have you discerned God’s direction for your life in the past? Has God’s call for you changed in the last year? If so, how and what are you doing about it? Is there something new calling you in 2016?

What are some of the daily ways that you respond to God’s call? Remember that God’s call does not have to be dramatic, but can be fully living with God in the ordinary.

Joyce SohlJoyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.