The great nineteenth-century preacher Andrew Murray made this analogy: “I have a pen in my pocket that is surrendered to its purpose of writing and must be surrendered to my hand if I am to write with it properly. If someone has a partial hold on it, I cannot write with it.” By the same token, if we hold back the natural abilities God gave us at birth — or if we use those abilities for purposes that don’t include God — those talents will not be used to their full capacity.
Rees, Erik. S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life.
My goal for life is to one day stand before God and hear Him tell me, "Well done, John. You've been faithful with what I've entrusted with you." I imagine this would/should be goal of every Christian. But, if you're anything like me, then you know that this is a most difficult task. For me, the difficulty falls squarely on whether I am going to let go of my grip of the "pencil of my life" and allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct me.
I like what John Wesley said in your Notes on the New Testament about John 11:39. When Jesus asked for the stone to be moved from the tomb of Lazarus, Martha responded, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead for four days." Martha was conflicted. Reason told her that what Jesus was asking was preposterous. Faith told her that the Jesus was the Resurrection and the Life. And, the struggle ensued!
At times (more ofter, I suppose, than I'd like to admit), I struggle between faith and reason. Reason tells me that I need to be in control. Faith tells me that God is capable. Reason tells me that I need to be anxious. Faith tells me that God cares for me. Faith...Reason...the struggle continues.
Andrew Murray reminds me that in order for me to achieve my goal, I must not struggle and I need to let go. How will God write with the "pencil of my life" if I still want to move it and write what I want?