A few weeks ago I was mulling over how to respond to the question “What is one area you would like God to grow you in this year… and why?” The old Irish hymn Be Thou my Vision somehow immediately came to mind.
“Be Thou my vision… my best thought… my wisdom… my true Word… my battle shield… my sword for the fight… my dignity… my delight… my soul’s shelter… my high tower.” An Irish saint named Dallan Forgaill used these images, which were later translated and put into verse, to express his prayer that Christ will be our vision.
When life is confusing and full of challenges; when I feel overwhelmed or inadequate or insecure; when conflicting emotions make me second-guess myself or others — or even God… oh, how desperately I need for HIM to be my vision, my focus!
When my mind conjures up worst-case scenarios; when anxious thoughts cause fear, panic, wrong thinking; when memories from past failures and mistakes vie for attention… how desperately I need for GOD’s thoughts to rule my mind!
When faced with decisions; when wondering how to deal with the uncertainties of life; when life isn’t as black or white as I would wish… how desperately I need GOD’s wisdom to direct my paths!
God’s Word, which is both a shield and a sword, is what I need on a daily basis. He is the source of my dignity. He is my delight. He is my shelter and the high tower where I can find refuge.
The song ends by saying…
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 Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.
That’s why I answered the question “What is one area you would like God to grow you in this year… and why?” with “I want God to grow me in having HIM be my vision — in whatever I’m facing in life.” Because then, and only then, will I be able to not get sidetracked. Whatever happens — or befalls, as the old Irish poem expresses it — GOD will be the One who enables me to have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life.”