It’s Faith-refresher Wednesday
I usually pray for inspiration to write my blogs. Sometimes a thought or idea smacks me in the face. Sometimes I read a bible passage that runs in contrast to a life situation. Many times music inspires me.
This past Monday’s blog was inspired by the Gospel reading that was part of last Sunday’s sermon. But also last Sunday at our traditional service, we sang an old hymn, “All Depends on Our Possessing.” It’s not at all one of the top most familiar hymns like “Amazing Grace” or “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” or “How Great Thou Art”. But the lyrics were incredible. I really enjoy Christian music including the old stuff and the new contemporary music. But the new music can be slim on lyrics and often resort to a much repeated chorus of “Praise Him, Praise Him, Alleluia” or some such thing over and over again. The lyrics to this hymn were so poetic … so true … so heart felt.
Many spend their lives in fretting
Over trifles and in getting
Things that have no solid ground.
I shall strive to win a treasure
That will bring me lasting pleasure
And that now is seldom found.
If on earth my days He lengthen,
He my weary soul will strengthen;
All my trust in Him I place.
Earthly wealth is not abiding,
Like a stream away is gliding;
Safe I anchor in His grace.
Can you believe that these lyrics were written by an unknown author somewhere around 1673? The original was in German but translated to English by dear Catherine Winkworth in 1858. Here’s the rest of the lyrics and info if you are curious:
The music that goes with this song was by Johann B. Konig in 1737. I found a lovely harp version in case you would like to hear it:
Now you just don’t find lyrics like that today. I made a note on my church bulletin to somehow use this song in a blog … and today after work as I sat down to write – it all became clear to me.
In the light of Robin Williams’ death … now I am not judging at all about why he did it and I do not understand deep depression or mental illness …, but I do think that too many people live lives that are so empty and without purpose. How many times have all of us heard about the self-inflicted death of someone who seemed to have everything in this world – Success? Health? Money? And folks, that’s just the problem – if you depend on happiness through things of this world, ya ain’t gonna be happy! Like the lyrics of this song so poetically state: “Many spend their lives in fretting … over trifles and in getting … things that have no solid ground.”
Again – I am not judging because I did not know the mind of Robin Williams. I have heard that he was a generous man. But whatever tormented him, whatever made him so sad, whatever it was that he may have been missing … he will deal with those things with his maker in heaven. But may his passing remind us that it is not the earthly wealth and trifles that will satisfy us.
Nothing in this world lasts. Nothing in this world can we take with us in the end.
Lasting pleasure is only through trusting and abiding in Christ Jesus.
He is our treasure.
1 Timothy 6:7-10 For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.