Friday, March 18, 2011
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Riches I heed not, not man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart;
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
I marvel at the timelessness of these words, written so very long ago. I don't have a great grasp of history, but enough to know that life during the middle ages in Ireland could not have been pleasant. Disappointments were probably easy to come by. No medicine, limited education, questionable food preparation techniques ("whole food" takes on an entirely different meaning) - all these were ripe breeding grounds for disappointments. Daily, if not hourly, would come reminders that your vision should be not on this earth, but on the High King of heaven.
My life in the 21st century is certainly more comfortable. Incredible medicine, unlimited education, food preparation so frightening (think deep-fried Twinkies) that "whole foods" has become the new goal. There are still disappointments, but there are also so many diversions to cover up and take your mind off those disappointments. Sometimes, I find that those diversions are drawing my vision away from the Lord and onto the diversion itself - as if comfort and solace has it's origin in that diversion. Life is easier, but my view of heaven is clouded.
These are beautiful words to help clear away those clouds. It is humbling that an 8th century writer could have a better grasp on God than this 21st century accountant..what with all my education, and awesome food preparation techniques (you should try my Brussels sprouts). But when all that gets in the way, I need to be humbled.
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14