Have you ever been so absorbed in something that you don’t notice what’s around you anymore? I get a bit like that when I am reading. I am so fixed on what’s going on in my book that I don’t notice anything else. It’s as if I am deaf and blind to what’s around me.
There’s an ancient hymn that was in my heart and head yesterday as we prayed:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
When I am in worship I am up close to Jesus, He fills the entire range of my vision. I know there’s stuff around me, beside me but all I focus on is Him. Then, as I ‘back away’ back into real life other things come into focus as He becomes smaller somehow. Instead of being all He is one of a couple of things, then one of a handful, then one among many until eventually He is lost in the crowd.
I pared the hymn down to what God said to me yesterday.
Naught be all else – translated by Jules: Nothing else should matter compared to Him.
Translated by Paul:
8 And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important was nothing but yesterday’s garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord. For Him I have thrown everything aside—it’s nothing but a pile of waste—so that I may gain Him.
Our worship leader said (paraphrased) “Jesus, don’t let me talk about anything as if You aren’t in the room”. I do that, I talk, laugh, criticise, grumble, snark, sneer and whine as if He is a million miles away because I moved back and He stopped filling my vision and became lost in the crowd.
There has to be a balance and that balance comes from looking at Him all the time. How can that be balance? I hear you shout. But it is balance because He is the most precious, wisest, most important, strongest, most compassionate, ‘knowingest’ and most loving person I know and looking at Him and seeing all else through Him means I finally and constantly see clearly.
I don’t know how He gets lost in the crowd when I have been so blessed, so moved by Him, by what He has said and done. I don’t know how I can be so foolish – stupid – as to let my eyes drift elsewhere when He is all that matters. But I am, I can and I do.
Heart of my own heart… that’s true, He is. And He is generous and merciful to be patient and let my eyes come back to Him and hopefully, linger a little longer this time.