Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hymns for Worship: Be Thou My Vision

As I mentioned in a post recently, I realized, painfully, tragically, that it has been far too long since I've really worshiped. Sometimes, I like to just listen to music and soak in it and not really think. But lately, I decided to listen to some of my favorite worship music and really think about what the words mean to my hungry heart. I wanted to let those beautiful words pour in and then pour out. And I wanted to share my thoughts. So....

I thought I'd first share one of the songs that has so much significance in my life. Be Thou My Vision is a song that Peyton and I both love. I've shared this before (probably multiple times), but we sung it at my grandmother's funeral and then two months later at our wedding- one of the happiest and one of the saddest days of my life. In both those situations, I prayed those words as I sang them- that Christ would be my vision and that he would be Lord of my heart. And in both my marriage and the other thing, the hard thing, one of the hardest things I've ever faced, I have sought to make Him my vision, and needed Him to be such, as in everything I face.

My mom told me recently that she has taken to praying the first verse of this song every morning when she wakes up. She says she too often prays for "things", even the right things, like mine and my sister's happiness and safety and that she needed to pray for her own view of God. I was so happy to hear that and so proud of her.

I could pray these lyrics, every day, too, but I wouldn't stop at the first verse....

Be Thou My Vision
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
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, I , Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one
Riches I heed not nor man's emptly praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
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



Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light

Be Thou my vision. I want Him to be my vision all day long. I want my thoughts, my words, my actions, my LIFE, to be motivated by this vision. I want to press harder and harder toward this vision. I want to grow closer to the true vision of Him, that will only be totally reveled in heaven, each and every day. I want Him to color everything within my literal and figurative vision.

Thou be my best thought by day or by night/Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light. Each morning when I rise, the thought of Him- it is my best thought. The thought of snuggling Ann Peyton, the thought of making a lunch for Peyton, the thought of all the things I will do that day- they are good thoughts. But they are not my best thought. There is but one best thought. When I lay my head on the pillow and drift off to sleep, the thought of Him, again, is my best thought. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening...(Ps 92:2)

Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I , Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word. He is my wisdom. The only real source of wisdom. Each and every life decision is to be laid at His feet because he knows so much better than Peyton or I do.

Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one. I was created to dwell in Him and allow His Spirit to dwell within me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)


Riches I heed not nor man's emptly praise
Thou mine inheritance now and always
Thou and thou only first in my heart
High King of heaven my treasure Thou are

Riches I heed not....Thou mine inheritance now and always. A big, beautiful house with enough space for two nurseries AND an office? I heed not. A nice, new non-geriatric style vehicle? I heed not. More frequent dinner dates at fancy eateries? I heed not. A closet full of gorgeous baby clothes and another with a few classy maternity items? I {try to} heed not. HE is "mine inheritance now and always" and that is all that really, eternally matters in mine and Peyton's life and the lives of our children. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal (Mat 6:20). My treasures will not be destructible; they will not be stealable.

nor man's empty praise...Thou and thou only first in my heart. For a people pleaser like me, for one who seeks the accolades of friends and strangers alike and furiously flees the criticism of both, for a girl known to go on fishing expeditions for compliments, that first line resonates. Yet, He wants me to seek His praise alone; He wants to be "first in my heart". I don't need the empty praise of strangers, of my friends, of my husband. Of course, I will always be human and it will always be nice to hear "Job well done" but how could that compare to "Well done my good and faithful servant?" (Mat 25:23) Too much time spent striving for the former will surely hinder my efforts for the latter.

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



High King of heaven my victory won/ May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun. At the end of this life, I WILL reach heaven's joys. And at the end of the day, the hope of that is enough, isn't it?

Heart of my own heart whatever befall/ Still be my vision O Ruler of all. No matter the circumstances of the day, or even the emotions that befall my own heart, that hope and that vision will be enough and He WILL be Ruler of all.

The truth is, He will be Ruler of all, regardless of if I acknowledge Him as such or not. But I know that it brings the Lord great happiness when my vision is on Him and Him alone.

[My absolute favorite version, c/o Van Morrison]

3 comments:

Ellis said...

Hahahaha...that time in the car...Peyton couldn't figure out what to listen to, and what did you say? "Why don't we just listen to Come Thou Fount?!"

I love you.

Mallory Pickering said...

I love this- so well-written! I love to read your reflections.

robert said...

Thanks for sharing your love for the beautiful hymn, "Be Thou My Vision." Today is the birthday of Donald Hustad, who arranged an ancient Irish folk melody to create the tune (called Slane) used with the hymn.

If you enjoy reading about our hymns and their authors, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.

And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” With the arrival of fall, we begin to think of the Christmas season up ahead. If you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at mine, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)