There’s this great song that every writer should add to their “Music About Writing Playlist.” (You mean you haven’t made one of those? Seriously, get with the program. All the cool kids are doing it. Because, you know, writers are typically known for being cool. And normal.)
This song has deep, moving lyrics that really capture the essence of my writing struggles and angst.
And it’s a hymn.
Well, I think I just lost half of my readers right there. The Venn diagram of people who read blogs and people who sing hymns in relatively small.
You know why? Because hymns are old. And they make obscure Biblical references like “Ebenezer” and “Lord Sabaoth” that we don’t understand. And they make us work to appreciate them.
However, because posts about hymns vs. modern praise music tend to turn into boring, one-sided diatribes, we’re going to stop there. So, insert your favorite diatribe here and accept the fact that I enjoy and appreciate both kinds of music. Look – we just saved eight paragraphs of text and a dozen angry comments!
Anyway, for those of you still with me, I’m talking about “Be Thou My Vision.” Great old song, despite the fact that it has an uneditable “Thou” in the title. (Just try singing it with “you.” It sounds ridiculous.)
As a writer, verse 4 happens to be my favorite. And, while I feel like it might be a borderline sin to play favorites with verses of hymns, you’ll understand why in a minute. Here are the words:
“Riches I heed not, nor 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.”
Okay, time to be honest. I think I was frittering around with this discussion of hymns because I was stalling. Here’s the real topic of today’s post.
I have a book signing today.
And I’m terrified.
I’m afraid no one will come, or they will and I won’t know what to say, or everything will go perfectly but some of my friends will hate the books once they read them, or some kind of literary terrorist will burst in and light fire to the boxes to spare the world from having to read what I’ve written. (Okay, so I actually hadn’t worried about that one. Not until now, that is.)
“Man’s empty praise,” huh? Apparently it’s not so empty to me. And if I care that much about what others think of me, is God really the first and only priority of my heart?
Sometimes I sing the words to “Be Thou My Vision” and I do not mean them. Not one bit. I am lying, but I think that somehow God will be pleased with my “worship” anyway. Especially if I’m singing harmony. Because that makes you especially holy, in case you weren’t aware.
I hate hypocrites, so becoming a hypocrite would be such a major irony that the world would probably explode. In the interest of saving the world, then, I have two options: either I need to stop singing this song, or something in my life needs to change. And, since “Be Thou My Vision” has such a cool Irish sound that I would hate to part with (I really want a church to bust out the bagpipes for a performance sometime), I guess I’ll have to ask God to help me change.
I want to love God more than you. I want to love God more than what He’s blessed me with. I want to love what God thinks of me more that what you think of me.
And perfect love casts out all fear.
To Do List: In church this Sunday, listen to the words. Only sing them if I can honestly mean them. And if I can’t, figure out why and take it before God.