“Daddy, can I have a cookie with M&M’s on it?” says my almost 3 year old almost every morning. And for the past few days my response has always been the same, “we don’t have any right now, but I’ll get some soon.” Most days he is fine with that even though he loves “cookies with M&M’s on them.” I know its not healthy to give them cookies for breakfast, that’s why I call this his pre-breakfast snack.
Today I finally went to the store and while I was there I remembered to get the famous cookies. How could I forget since he reminded me once again today. When I came home I told him to come here and he came running into the kitchen. I handed him his “cookie with M&M’s on it” and he promptly took what was in his hand and threw it straight up in the air and grabbed his cookie. Then he jumped up and down for joy and said, “you got these for me, thank you Daddy.” It was definitely worth a trip to the store on a rainy day before New Year’s Eve.
His excitement over his cookie led me to ask the question, “what do I get that excited about?” What am I passionate about? What causes me joy and gratitude? I know what the answer should be, but the question is, is that really my answer? My answer at all times and in all situations should be Jesus. I am excited about being His child. I am passionate about serving Him. He is my joy and my gratitude. That is what I should say, that is what we should say, but is it truthfully what we say and how we live?
Dallan Forgaill penned a beautiful hymn with this theme in the mid sixth century. We call it “Be Thou My Vision” today. Read the words as if you’ve never heard them before (of course there is a good chance that you haven’t).
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.
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r:
Raise Thou me heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
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.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
He wrote it in old Irish but our English translation is extremely beautiful and yet challenging in its beauty. Jesus of course should be our vision, the Lord and joy of our heart. He should be what we think about night and day. He should be our wisdom and our light. He should be all of those things because of what He did for us on the cross of Calvary. He should be all of those things and more to us because His blood gives us forgiveness. It gives us hope and it makes us children of God. That is the power of His blood. He should be our riches and our inheritance, but is He? If we said that He was, would we be telling the truth?
“Be Thou My Vision” is a beautiful prayer for us as we close out one year and rush quickly into the next. He is all of those things, and He should be all of those things to us. He ought to cause us to jump up and down with joy. He should cause us to be grateful. He should be our passion, and we ought to be willing to throw down whatever else is in our hand so that we might take hold of Him.
To God be the glory!