A few weeks back we got ready and headed off to church to serve in the little one’s nursery, something Andrew and I do from time to time to help our church’s growing community out. Having three kids that attend Sunday school makes us appreciate this kind of service even more, and it’s honestly refreshing to be on the other side for a change. On this particular morning, it had been several weeks since we had been to church with the hustle and bustle of end of school year events, and I remember thinking I wished we were still at home in the comfort of our pajamas instead of in our Sunday best. It’s always hard getting places these days, but usually once we are I am most thankful. Some time went by in the nursery and the attendance ended up being a bit low, and because we were overstaffed Andrew suggested I go upstairs to listen to the sermon, something he sensed I was craving. I love that he knows me better than I know myself. I think when you grow up with your best friend and you end up marrying that special person, they become a part of your spirit. Something in me jumped at this opportunity for time alone to pray and worship, so I scooted in the other room nearby to fill up my coffee mug and grab a pen from the lobby before heading up to grab a seat. I am rarely without a notebook on hand, especially when attending church.
I was grateful the worship team was still playing, because music always touches my soul in such profound and goosebumpy ways. I am not a musician, but it speaks to the core of who I am and can peel back layers that other art forms simply cannot touch. A song was finishing up as I found a place, and it wasn’t soon after they started playing “Come Thou Fount”. The poetic lyrics began to roll across the screen overhead against a backdrop of wheat fields, and it was as if my ears were opening up for the first time that morning to let the Good News in. It’s funny how you think you’re listening, only come to find out that you just got good at pretending to. The gal next to me, someone I didn’t know, was singing her heart out, and as were the people both in front and back of where I was swaying. It was really beautiful. The final words stood still on the screen for what felt like a whole minute but was probably more like a few seconds, and I felt a big golfball growing in my throat. My whole body was overcome with gratitude for having that moment alone in worship, yet connected with others through song.
“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.”
Prone to wander. Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here is my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for the courts above. I have also heard the last line be interpreted as “seal it with thy heavenly love” in the past. I love both renditions, as they each speak to me in a gentle way that comforts and holds tight. So much of what we are surrounded with tells us the opposite is true. It feels like social media, news media, advertising, just everything everywhere is pointing in the other direction these days, trying with all its might to steer us away from the light like a broken compass into places where fear, doubt, worry, anger, comparison, exhaustion, and competition can creep in and make a home. I try and remember this as I go about my day, but so many times I forget. So many times I let those approval-seeking woes and my own self-concerned thoughts supersede God’s boundless love for me, feeding into the lie that we alone call the shots, and therefore we alone are our own saviors. Thank God that’s not the case.
I have been saying these four lines over and over in my head throughout the past few weeks and they’re still as meaningful as ever. In light of the beauty and wonder that worship songs can give us and our days, I made a playlist for you all to enjoy at home, work, or wherever it is that you like to be lifted up in prayerful song. We like listening to this playlist in the morning time to set us off on a grateful path. It’s a bit folksy with a hint of country charm, and I think you’ll really dig it. And if you have any other recommendations that you think would be a good fit with what I’ve put together, let me know below!