Monday, November 19, 2012

A Still Soul


Time careers downhill;
Days blur like bicycle spokes.
Will I fear or fly?

The final line of this haiku-style poem only emerged this morning, months after the first two. Even as I recognize my tendency to white-knuckle my way through life instead of raising my hands and squealing with delight over the wind in my hair, my heart is singing a song which at first seems just the opposite to the poem.

"Be Still, My Soul" is the English translation of a German hymn by Katherina von Schlegel. Here is the text in full:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. 
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below. 
Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last. 
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.
Those words hold so very much material for meditation, yet I'm not certain I've ever sung all the verses in a corporate worship context. Now that I look them up, I'm wondering if the key to embracing the wild ride of life is remembering that this is a tandem bicycle, and the One steering is the Lord who is indeed "on my side"; remembering that He "faithful will remain"; remembering that "thy best, thy heavenly Friend/Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

No matter how wild or fast this ride may race, the One in the front seat is taking us someplace wonderful, more wonderful than my best imaginings. In that hope, I will keep preaching the gospel to my soul until I learn to have a still soul in a whirling world, a soul at rest in the goodness and competency of my truest Companion on this journey.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last. 
Let me then continue "the song of praise/On earth, believing, to [my] Lord on high," thanking God for more of His gifts:

women banding together in seeking to grow towards God's standard of femininity :: post-election wisdom from an alumnus of the Tuesday Night Tangent Society Bible study :: God answering prayers for those young people's continuing growth in Christ without a smidgen of help from me :: parents' company on a night when A. had a work event :: easy, healthy meals in freezer, thanks to a Groupon :: the free gift of the first lesson from the soon-to-be-released One Thousand Gifts Group Bible Study [See embedded video below if you wish to view it, but have tissue handy.] :: the contagion of a transformed heart :: one hard thing unexpectedly lightened a little :: stitches coming out today :: visit and treats from Mezzo :: expert advice on gift selection :: a gospel trio singing "In the Garden" at church yesterday :: movie date with my Amore :: local Thanksgiving plans :: one week of walking boot behind me, one week closer to getting back to the park :: husband's doing extra chores when cleaning helper had to cancel :: clean puppy breathing deeply in his sleep next to me :: crocheted hat completed :: Christmas music around the corner
(gratitude journal #8057-8075)

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sharing today with Laura and Ann

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Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.