Be Thou My Vision is probably one of my favorite songs of all time. Something about singing words that are so ancient but still hold so much meaning, gives such a feeling of connection to all the people who came before me. It began as the Irish text, “Rop tu mo Baile”, attributed to Saint Dallan Forgaill in the 6th century. It stayed that way for centuries before it was translated and versified by Eleanor Hull in 1920. The famous melody was originally an Irish folk tune called “Slane” and was first set to the words of Be Thou My Vision in the 1919 Irish Church Hymnal. Fastword almost one hundred years and it is still one of the most popular songs in the church.

For me, the first verse strikes a chord. “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.”

What it is basically saying is that even if he was offered the world and got to experience all that it had to offer, Jesus would still be his goal, his best and highest thought and his future. It reminds me of Psalm 84 in which David expresses to the Lord his desire to be encompassed by His glory. There was nothing else in life for him.

Lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God… For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! Psalm 84:1-2, 10-12

David was man who had experienced both extremes of life. He had known great sorrow and trials but also rose to be the greatest king, Israel ever saw and was second only to his son, Solomon, in prosperity. He knew what it was to have everything a person could ask for and still he would give it all up for one day with his God. I can’t say with certainty that I fully understand his sentiments at this point in time but I think that once you come to see God for who he truly is, there is a point you get to where He takes the place of all else in your heart. Nothing can compare and nothing can distract from his greatness. He becomes everything.

What place does Jesus have in your heart?
Do you think David’s feelings are a result of time and life experiences or a result of his attitude toward God?
How can you begin to cultivate this in your own life?
Are you more focused on the perks of God as opposed to the person Himself?

Lord, you are so above all that we can imagine and when we grasp even a glimpse of You, it changes us forever. Help us to search after you for you and not for what you can give us or how you can bless our lives. Help us to fall in love you and treasure you above all else. Become our vision and goal. Amen.

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