During the March 29 sermon on endurance, I quoted the last line from John Milton’s autobiographical sonnet “When I Consider How My Light is Spent.” Milton wrote the poem after losing his eyesight while still in his early 40s. The poem addresses his feeling of uselessness and considers what God actually requires of him. Following is the poem in its entirety.
Sonnet 19: When I Consider How My Light is Spent
By John Milton
When I consider how my light is spent,Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,And that one Talent which is death to hideLodged with me useless, though my Soul more bentTo serve therewith my Maker, and presentMy true account, lest he returning chide;“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”I fondly ask. But patience, to preventThat murmur, soon replies, “God doth not needEither man’s work or his own gifts; who bestBear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His stateIs Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speedAnd post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:They also serve who only stand and wait.”