yesterday on her way out of church one of my friends stopped to talk to me. she said (words to the effect) that the only reason she was able to sing the last song (which was o beautiful for spacious skies) was because the last line has the expression “self-control” in it. more specifically, “america! america! God mend thine every flaw, confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.” she asked if i had picked it intentionally, this one patriotic song she felt she could actually sing at this moment in time – beCAUSE of the expression “self-control.” i couldn’t stake claim to the wisdom of picking this one; ptom had requested it weeks earlier for yesterday. but i understood her completely.
self-control. america. it doesn’t seem, these days, that these go together. if you’ve ever had the chance to look at a small child’s coloring book – you know, the ones where they have puzzles in them also…the one where there are four shapes, for example, three circles and a square and at the top of the page it says, “circle/color the shape that doesn’t go with the others”, you will know what i mean when i say this. perhaps there is a coloring book page with the words “america”, “division”, “polarity”, “untruths”, “inequality”, “retrograding” and “self-control”; the directions on the top of the page read “circle the word that doesn’t go with the others.” you would be hard-pressed to NOT circle “self-control”. so i understand marykay’s ability to sing this song with the YEARNING of the soul of God confirmed in self-control.
this coming sunday, the other weekend flanking this week of the fourth of july, the sending hymn will be this is my song, lyrics by lloyd stone and georgia harkness with music by jean sibelius (the tune of finlandia) and i AM choosing it intentionally. these are the lyrics:
this is my song o God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
my country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
so hear my song, o God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
this is my prayer, o God of all earth’s kingdoms,
your kingdom come; on earth your will be done.
o God, be lifted up till all shall serve you,
and hearts united learn to live as one.
so hear my prayer, o God of all the nations;
myself i give you; let your will be done.
for the world i want to live in is a world of peace. it is people (each of us striving individually and in community) in a world continuing to move toward MORE unity, MORE equality, LESS judgment, MORE truth, LESS division, MORE generosity, LESS polarization, LESS elitism, MORE inclusiveness, LESS hatred, LESS self-serving indulgence, LESS excuses, MORE respect, with the soul of God (or whatever you call this spiritual magnificence) clearly demonstrated in our mindful self-control.
happy independence day.
really, i always tell the truth sometimes. ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood