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“Use me for your purposes today Lord,” is part and parcel of my morning prayers; This can be either a dutiful sentiment, spoken by rote and soon forgotten, or it is a serious commitment to stay alert to any opportunities that may arise daily as a result. Certainly the Lord takes such a prayer seriously, even if we are somewhat guilty of spiritual glibness in offering it. We need to keep in mind that He doesn’t “use” us in the sense that we become automatons of his will and purposes; it is out of our own free volition that we must diligently look for God-sent opportunities to be useful and then, when they reveal themselves to us, act upon them. I have no doubt squandered many such opportunities throughout my life, either through self-doubt, fear, slothfulness, or some kind of rationalization borne out of the selfish desire (my time is my own) to avoid the unpleasant prospect of having to trudge the extra mile if required; best to avoid getting involved in the first place. This is addressed in “Useless,” along with the idea that guilt for our past failings in regard to servitude can, if unaddressed, remain the blueprint for our behavior today and in the days to follow. Spiritual impotence can occur when past failings lead to thoughts that tell us that since we have failed God in the past, He therefore considers us no longer useful to Him in the here and now. The last stanza of “Useless” addresses this issue. Humble servitude does not come easy for some of us; it may be less challenging for us to stir and rally the troops than it is to humbly kneel and wash the tired feet of a single weary soldier.
Let me also say that while the nature of my work seems perfectly aligned with the concept of being “used” by God, I am deeply concerned about making the mistake of assuming that little more is required of me. After all these years, I find that creating music, while not without its requirements of diligence, vigilance, a strong work ethic, etc., along with any number of challenges is, for me, a relatively facile process. The truth is that in creating music, I find myself consistently in the very center of my own comfort zone, and if I’ve learned anything over the course of my life as a Christian, God is not interested in keeping me, or you, comfortable; He’s determined to form Christ in us by various means and ways, including any number of unpleasantries, trials, and tribulations. I am at heart an introvert, which may surprise some people who assume that anyone who has spent so much of his life on stage performing in front of both large and small crowds, must surely be outgoing, confident, and as comfortable with people in private as he seems to be in the public arena. Not so, which can be said of many artists and public figures. I love and cherish my solitude, and in my line of work it is as essential to the task of song composition as one’s instrument and the ability to play it, but I must also guard against the kind of solitude which selfishly cuts me off from those who would gladly offer me mental, financial, and spiritual help in time of need, if I would only humble myself and ask. In this instance, I’m robbing them of the opportunity to be useful. The line in verse two of “Useless” references this.
Lastly, let me say just how deeply grateful I am for you, the person reading these words; In making yourself “useful” to God, you have touched and profoundly blessed the lives of my family and me. I cannot thank you enough.

lyrics

4. Useless
words and music: Terry Scott Taylor
©2019 Shape Of Air Music, BMI

Help me Lord to love someone
Whose love for me's gone flat
Give me the strength to carry someone
Who will probably break my back
Give me the desire to save someone
Though it seems they can’t be saved
Help me imagine them as Lazarus
Stumbling out of his grave
Use me,
Though I fumble for excuses
Use me,
Even though I’m feeling
Useless
Move me to lend a helping hand
When I wanna keep to myself
And to call on a friend when I’m down and out
And my pride needs no one else
Help me pray when I’m out of words,
And it’s the last thing I want to do
When I wish I could cry, but the well’s run dry
And I feel far from you
Please use me,
Though I fumble for excuses
Use me,
Even though I’m feeling
Useless
Clue me in when I’m clueless
I wanna know your peace
When the world seems ruthless
I wanna hear your song, ‘cos mine is tuneless
Use me, I’m useless
Though the past is the past, guilt’s a hammer and nail
Pinning me in place
My failings throwing cold dark shadows across
Your mercy and your grace
So free me now, lift me up,
‘cos a new day has begun
Come Easter light, let me be the touch
That heals someone
Please use me,
Though a part of me refuses
Use me,
Even though I’m feelin’ useless
Use me,
Though I fumble for excuses
Use me,
Even though I’m feelin’ useless
Use me,
Even though I’m feelin’ useless
Use me

credits

from Bedroom Demos - Vol. 24, released May 6, 2019
vocals and instruments: T.S. Taylor

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all rights reserved

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