Prone to Wander

“How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell” -Robert Robinson

At work today, hauling back a water truck to Elko from a gold mine off Nevada’s Highway 50, the “Loneliest Road in America,” I enjoyed some thoughts about God’s grace towards me. How far beyond charitable He has been! That He rescued me from my sinful plight is incomprehensible in and of itself, but to make me, an enemy by birth, a son through Christ’s atoning death on the cross is too wonderful for me to completely grasp. Meditating on these things, part of a stanza came off my lips:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.

These words come from the oft-sung Christian hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, by Robert Robinson, an eighteenth century Calvinist-Methodist-turned-Baptist minister in England. The hymn itself is ripe with amazed gratitude in response to receiving God’s grace, and a poetic reaction to being pursued and rescued by Christ. The whole song is worth including here because I am wholly unsatisfied with quoting it in part.

Among the many variations, both old and contemporary, the 1758 version is one of my favorites. Despite my own aversion to reading block quotes, I include it below.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

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Grace, Contentment and Dapper Dan

Grace and contentment are two things on my mind lately. The former is something ongoing, something which I experience at a deeper level the more I realize, as it’s name suggests, I don’t deserve it. The latter is something I am learning from the contents of the pockets of my jeans.

Depending on the day, the contents of my pockets will vary. From the universal contents such as pennies and dimes and lint, not Lent (that would be an odd as well as an abstract thing to carry around), to more personality-specific items such as a guitar pick or a ratchet end wrench. Every now and again, perhaps, a small paperback in my back pocket. Not to be found, a silver money clip with a rock star supply of cash or a can of FOP (because if I was a pomade user, I would use Dapper Dan).  https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608010121990832486&pid=1.7

At any rate, monetarily speaking, my pockets are on the lean side of life and to make matters worse, even if I wanted to use Dapper Dan, I probably couldn’t afford it when adjusted to current prices. Therefore, lately, I have been in a less-than-content state of mind. The obvious and thankful fact that I have pants at all is lost to me when I wander from the immutable truth that God doesn’t forsake His elect. That doesn’t mean He won’t let His children go without things like aromatic hair tonics or rock star money clips. I really should just be glad I am not only a creature but a child of the God who fashioned all things.

 

I suppose, too, the oddities I do have in my pockets also should, in a strange way at the end of a long day at work makes sense to me, be reasons to give thanks. Guitar picks enable the picker to cut the finger nails on the picking hand so he or she doesn’t have to have crazy long nails to pick the strings. Pennies and dimes mean at one time there was a dollar bill used to buy groceries and they are simply the remainders. Lint, not Lent, means, um, my awesome wife washed my jeans.

 

Bringing all back home, I like what Paul the apostle formerly known as Saul said in his letter to the Christians in Pilippi,

 

I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:12-13, ESV).

 

Not to be mistaken as meaning he could literally fly like an eagle if he wanted or misapplied as a graceless, Christless prosperity gospel mantra, Paul simply stated he could deal both with having and not having. Simple as that. He could deal with it because of the gospel. He could deal with it because his greatest need was met on the Damascus road, where Christ was the intersection.

 

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