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 Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
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.
(Songwriter: Eleanor Henrietta Hull)
Kaulah, Ya Tuhan Surya Hidupku
Kaulah, ya Tuhan surya hidupku
Asal Kau ada, yang lain tak perlu
Siang dan malam Engkau 'ku kenang
Di hadirat-Mu jiwaku tenang
Kaulah hikmatku, firman hidupku
Kau bersertaku dan 'ku serta-Mu
Engkau Bapaku, aku anak-Mu
Dengan-Mu Tuhan 'ku satu penuh
Kaulah bagiku tempat berteduh
Kaulah perisai dan benteng teguh
Sukacitaku kekal dalam-Mu
Kuasa sorgawi, Engkau kuasaku
Bila saatnya kelak 'ku menang
T'rimalah daku di sorga cerlang
Apapun kini hendak 'ku temu
Kaulah ya Tuhan surya hidupku
For most people, I am known as a contemporary Charismatic Christian. I do speak in tongues (though I am also very cautious with it) and believe in prophecies as well as altar calls; and being someone who started off and grown in a Charismatic congregation right from the very beginning, I am also more familiar with contemporary Christian music such as Hillsongs and Planetshakers than the hymns of the old with all the "Thou"s and "Thine"s that I have never come across till recently.
Of course, I have to also confess that while my first experiences with the Methodist liturgy was somewhat awkward (since I never had to follow it before, but I got used to it a little eventually), I did find myself amazed by the Doxology and Threefold Amen - and also, some of the hymns that were sung during the services I attended thus far.
All the while, I always thought that hymns are already a thing of the past, an obsolete trend only relished by the elderly. But tonight especially, I found myself humming on the beautiful melody and reflecting on the lyrics of "Be Thou My Vision", eventually soaking myself in the weight of the words as I sung them out.
(Or perhaps, I am just really growing old.)
Most contemporary Christian music are upbeat, loud, and energetic, often accompanied with sensational spotlights and awesome concert-like stage props. These are what I observed most Christians are listening to right now, and for many of us in this generation, would be the only things we have come across as Christian worship. Nowhere have I heard of the solemness and the sense of mystery that I have found in hymns, which I sometimes have found myself contemplating so much on, in contemporary music. Neither could I feel that weight in their lyrics - the weight that only comes with generations after generations of legacy from those who have gone before us, from pondering on the very thought that this hymn has been sung by the faithful of the old, and has even became the beacon of hope and faith in times of darkness for those whom I have never met but whose faith far exceeds my own. Rarely even, I could find myself pondering and reflecting on the lyrics of contemporary Christian music. Very often, the feeling just rose and soared in the midst of the Christian "jamming" and quickly died off with the end of its final chorus as easily as how it first started. Forgotten.
Again, am not saying that contemporary Christian music is all bad and all of us should go back to singing hymns. Am just expressing my realisation that hymns are another different spectrum of Christian worship that I feel many of us have overlooked - and that I needed and wanted more than what the current contemporary Christian worship trends are offering:
I realised that I needed and wanted more depth to pursue deeper into my relationship with Christ.
I realised that true Christian worship is more than just surges of emotions that come and go with the music. The beauty must not only be in the music, but also in the weight of the lyrics, that often would hold me captive and have me soaked in the words.
...That Christian worship is more than just satisfying my mood and making me feel good, more than what the increasingly consumerist world would perceive Christian worship to be.
I wanted more. More than just noise. More than just a fleeting moment of losing myself in the hype.
I wanted more of Christ. To have Him as my vision.
"...Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all."
PS: If you are interested, Google up the hymns and listen. I am not sure what you would think about it, but I personally love this hymn a lot, and have included this into my personal worship songbook.
Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
27th February 2014, 0607 hours