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  • Michael W. Newman

Be Useful

I just finished reading Bono’s Autobiography, Surrender. It’s an artistic and interesting read. His prose flow songlike from the pages. The book is a ballad about his life and God’s leadership.


Bono noted that his journey to success as a rock star and as an advocate for the least of these was always seasoned with a sentiment his father embraced. It was expressed by one of the most famous men in Ireland:


“’If you’re going to be famous, sure, be funny, be irreverent. Listen to the shouters as well as the whisperers. But above all, be useful.’ That was his modus, it always seemed to me, a modus that became a prayer in our family. Simple. Direct. Make us useful, dear God. We’re available. How can we be useful in this world where we find ourselves?” (237-238)


Make us useful, dear God.


If I am running errands or pursuing a career. If I am complimenting or complaining. If I am posting or commenting. If I am deciding what to do with my money or receiving a gift. If I am studying or speaking. If I am determining my ambition or am settling in for a time of rest.


Make us useful, dear God.


These are good words for today’s tendency to put something “out there” in order to get as many likes, views, and shares as possible. It’s a prayer that pulls us back from becoming known and heard—aspiring to influencer status—just for the sake of being known and heard.


Make us useful, dear God.


For the world in which you find yourself. For your family. For your neighbors. For your co-workers. For the hurting and lost. With your talents. With your resources. With your opportunities.


Make us useful, dear God.


Not argumentative. Not troublemaking. Not stress-inducing. Not grouchy. Not contrarian. Not violent. Not abusive. Not arrogant. Not racist. Not negative. Not critical. Not crude.


Make us useful, dear God. Make us useful.

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1 Comment

6 days ago

Great devotion, brother! I wish only that-- to be useful in God's kingdom... 😀


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