Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wandering Heart

Do you sometimes catch yourself wandering about aimlessly in your faith walk? I sure do. It doesn’t take much for me to find myself drifting away with the waves of this world. Blessed be His Name, though, He, to whom the winds and the waves obey, knows our name and when they try to pull us from His grip, He re-directs them so we come back into His embrace.

Such was the case recently, when, after much busyness, traveling and preoccupation, I saw days become weeks without finding time to spare for meditating on the Word.

He knows how to call me, however, in a way that is impossible for me to miss His voice. He calls me with His songs. This time, He strategically placed a hymn to call out my name and show me the way back to His fortress. And even though, I didn’t grow up with hymns and they are not my worship music of choice, I cannot deny the power of the Word when put to the melody of an old song.

What I love the most about hymns is how subtlety they enrapture one’s soul in music and take you to a place of worship almost by surprise. Maybe because of the metric tune of the melody, or the harmony or perhaps because of the complicated words which people like me find difficult to understand, hymns have the capacity to bring you to a point of discovery that contemporary worship music usually lacks. Some other times, there are hymns that have become so familiar that we may sing them mechanically and miss the opportunity to worship and praise inspired by the richness of its words. But then…He touches you, and everything changes.

That’s what happened to me the other Sunday at church. The Hymn “Come Thou Fount” came on and I began to utter the words, mind going to a movie I like where there is a scene in which the leading man sings it. I allowed my mind to wander and dwell on that movie rather than concentrating on the hymn. Suddenly and without warning, as I sang the second half of the last stanza, He got me.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

It took me a split second to realize I had wasted this precious worship song day-dreaming about a movie, so I tried to back pedal to recapture the moment, but the song was over and the moment was gone. I couldn’t recall the lyrics. All I could bring back to my desperate mind was the line: “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it…” That’s all I could remember. The church I was at didn’t have hymnals available at the pews (and I don’t have a smart phone where I could look it up right then-not that anyone should use their phone during service, anyway…), so all I could do was to hang on to that line…that simple and convicting line.

Though the moment was gone, it was not lost for we serve a Lord of Mercy and Love who had given me exactly what I needed. That line said it all. I am prone to wander…but He is prone to seek me and bring me home every time.

Of course, through the wonder of the Internet, I was able to find the beautiful hymn and delight in the treasure of the truth it reveals. That’s why I am here today, back at my computer, recording my reflections on the electronic pages of this journal. Blessed be His Name!

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! Psalm 119:10

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

Text: Robert Robinson, 1735-1790
Music: Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music

No comments:

Post a Comment

It would be great to hear from you! Let me know what you think.