Consecration in some degree is involved in any sane or rational life. It is only the person who can forget himself, and become absorbed in some large aim or end of life, that can enter into the joy of living; and it is only the person who can thus forget himself in his work that can do anything well. … It is a great mistake to suppose that “consecration” is a word which belongs only in the religious vocabulary. It is the secret of everybody’s power. All work of every sort that has a touch of genius in it has come out of consecration, and it has come from somebody that forgot himself in his work.
Seven times over, in our Gospel records, Christ says, “He that saves his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life shall find it.”
The happy people are toilers, consecrated to difficult tasks, absorbed in doing things, finding their lives by sinking them in the world’s work and the world’s problems.
I want to keep continually in the foreground the fact that consecration must not be a mere emotional giving of life to causes. The things that matter most are (1) What you put your life into, and (2) What kind of a life you put in. … The very possession of a marked aptitude or gift is in itself a divine call, and carries with it a summons to service.
True consecration can never be reached by artificial methods, or by sheer effort. The life must be kindled by an inward passion for an end that is large enough and high enough to feed the life and draw it on.
In fact the highest consecration is, like genius, unconscious of itself. The person who is gloriously consecrated is so completely absorbed in the task he has to do, so interested working out the end of goodness which he has in view, that he is hardly aware that he is sacrificing his life to it.
– Rufus Jones, The World Within, 1921
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Revised Standard Version