She Gave Me a Pen

Devotional Tidbit December 28, 2004
“She gave me a pen.”
Romans 12:1

You will see in a few of my devotional tidbits, references to the 1989 movie Say Anything starring John Cusack. In today’s devotional titled, “She gave me a pen,” I will discuss gifts. This topic is appropriate since just a few days ago many of you opened plenty of gifts from Santa Claus, family, and friends. Speaking of Santa Claus, my son was surprised that Santa used OUR wrapping paper for the SECOND year in a row.

What kind of gifts do you like to receive or give? What was your favorite gift this Christmas? Giving, it says a lot about us doesn’t it? In the movie mentioned above, John Cusack was in love with Diane Court. They had spent so much time together, he had finally found the love of his life or so he thought. She loved him too, didn’t she? Eventually at the prodding of her father, Diane awkwardly broke up with John Cusack. Diane, not knowing what to say simply gives John Cusack a pen and asks him to write her. As with most sad moments in movies, we see in the next scene, rain pouring down. John Cusack is in a phone booth talking to his sister who was like his best friend. “She’s gone,” he says. “I gave her my heart……she gave me a pen,” he finally laments.

Now I want you to stop for a moment and ponder that line, “I gave her my heart……she gave me a pen.” That says so much doesn’t it? Have you ever had a relationship like that?

I want you to now fast forward out of 1989 and look at your relationship with God. In looking at how much of your life you give God, would He ever say something like…”I gave them my son Jesus….and they only gave me a pen.”  Is our idea of sacrificial living for God equivalent to the giving of a pen after we’ve given someone all the love in our heart? Can God feel the pain of John Cusack’s character Lloyd Dobbler when he looks at how we live?

Romans 12:1 speaks to the sacrifice we are to give God today. The sacrifice God wants from us is a daily sacrifice. He wants our whole life. He wants our entire month. He wants every hour of our life to be lived for Him. This does not mean we can’t have fun. This doesn’t mean we are mindless robots saying “amen,” all day or isolating ourselves from all non-Christians. It does mean we are to consider God in the decisions we make.  This living sacrifice we are to be for God is not because of some law. We are to be this living sacrifice as Romans 12:1 says, “in view of God’s mercy.” Think of your small blessings each day, then think of the huge blessing we have in Jesus dying on the cross for us.

We need to think about our blessings and act accordingly. To act accordingly means to live closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ and to be a living sacrifice.  What does living close to the Lord, or being a living sacrifice include anyway? I think of it as considering Christ when we make our decisions each day. Try considering Jesus Christ when you choose friends, your job, the way you entertain yourself, your business practices, and even when you tell your children to answer the phone and say you’re not home. Do you ever do that phone thing or something similar? 

I agree that it is frightening to leave things in God’s hands. At this moment, I am wearing a t-shirt that reads “Relax, God is in control.” I am not saying this is always easy, because it’s not. “[I]n view of God’s mercy,” I believe we should pray for help to be that living sacrifice God wants. It’s the least we could do for Him. Let us give God our lives everyday, not just a pen with which we could write him once in a while.

Struggling to be that living sacrifice,
Brian Humek

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