Milton wrote “When I consider how my light is spent” when he was rapidly losing his eyesight. He contemplates on his life prior to blindness (“light”) and on his life after –“dark world and wide. ” As a Christian, he questions the current state of his being and laments at how it has rendered him inadequate in serving his Maker. He feels that he now cannot serve God as best as he can due to his handicap. Understandably so, he is bitter, frustrated, and in despair. Often in our lives, we are faced with difficulties of all kinds. We do not like it so we get angry, but we cannot change it so we get cynical.
We lash out on God by constantly asking “Why,” and wallow in self-pity in believing ourselves to be useless. But see, in the poem, this is where God shows Milton that he’s wrong. First and foremost, God in Himself is complete (“God who doth not need/Either man’s work or His own gifts”). For God, who needs neither man nor man’s abilities to define Him, Milton simply needs to bear his situation and trust in God wholeheartedly. All God requires is for man to serve him as best as he can to the extent that his circumstances allow him to.
In Milton’s case, he need not be up to par with the most able and talented people to serve God; His service in light of his condition may in itself, be sufficient. With this, God silences and comforts Milton’s distrusting heart, and Milton yields to Him in unquestioning compliance. Your last name, 2 Reality confronts me with a world where circumstances don’t always go my way. In fact, things can even go so horribly wrong as to leave me feeling completely lost. Like Milton, it takes time for me to fully accept an unfavorable situation beyond my control. I question it, I curse it, and I tell myself that I can be and do better otherwise.
In short, I use a bad situation as a convenient excuse to justify my failures and shortcomings. Like many others, I am guilty of humanity’s problem of wanting to control every aspect in life. However, problems constantly remind me that I will always be subject to the unforeseeable and the inevitable. I cannot be so arrogant in that I must always be in control of every situation, but neither can I just let circumstances prevent me from doing my best. Like Milton, I realize that the true test of character is how I act in the most trying times. The best of my ability is seen in how I am able to make the most of what I have.
I know that when I do my best, my talents and abilities are never wasted in the eyes of God. Of course, there are still days when I feel that all elements are against my attempts to accomplish something, but that’s all right; I can let go with faith in the fact that I have done my very best. That, perhaps, is all that is really required of me. “Who best Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best” –Milton, in referring to his troubles as mild, gave me something more to think about: How often have I thought of my problems as unsurpassable? How often have I believed myself to be the unluckiest of the unlucky? Quite often, I’m afraid.
But as I look beyond myself and at the problems of people around me, I shamefully realize how my troubles pale in comparison. There is a whole world of people around me who suffer in ways I cannot even comprehend. Compared to them, my problems are small Your last name, 3 and trivial. If they, in their state, can bear and go on with their lives to the best of their abilities, how much more can I? In fact, history tells us that Milton’s best works were written after he became blind! Truly, I have no excuse to validate a contemptuous disposition. So with an acquired sense of humility, I admit that the only real limit to my abilities is myself.
Nowadays, I confess that problems still get to me. As much as I tell myself to “just grin and bear it,” I still find it hard to do so unquestioningly. But as I think of Milton’s poem, I see things clearly and more rationally. Essentially, God’s message to Milton is that it is not the situation that makes a man, rather, it is what man makes of the situation. For as long as I live out my life as best as I can, I define who I am and what I do. And circumstances, no matter how difficult or shattering, will never defeat me. Works cited: 1. <http://www. poetry-online. org/milton_when_i_consider_how_my_light_is_spent. htm>