Sunday, October 9, 2011

A New Way to Live

A few months ago, I found the words of this hymn echoing through my heart day after day:

Fill thou my life, O Lord, my God
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways;
Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e'en the praising heart
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part.

Praise in the common words I speak,
Life's common looks and tones,
In fellowship at hearth or board
With my beloved ones, -
Enduring wrong, reproach or loss
With sweet and steadfast will,
Loving and blessing those who hate,
Returning good for ill.

So shall each fear, each fret, each care,
Be turned into song,
And every winding of the way
The echo shall prolong;
So shall no part of day or night
From sacredness be free,
But all my life, in every step,
Be fellowship with Thee.

~ Horatius Bonar

While I washed dishes, while I drove to prenatals, while I waited for my flat tire to get fixed, while I was grocery shopping, while I was juicing fresh veggies for Mom, when the house was 100 degrees inside, while I was running, while I was cooking breakfast, while scrubbing out dirty produce buckets, as I drove away from births, those lines

I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part.

clanged loudly, jarring me from the irritating, the tiring, the annoying, the mundane, even the wonderful that I reveled in. Praise in this.

Praise for all of the things that happened today that weren't supposed to. Praise in the midst of missing important deadlines because my brother was having problems and I had to occupy him. Praise while Mom feeling sick. {Wouldn't she rather hear me happily singing at the sink, anyway?}

Praise instead of sighing to myself when the floor was sticky and the oven wasn't working and my car was needing another repair.


That could be my life. My life doesn't have to include silent sighs and groans to myself.
Praise. That can be my whole life. EVERY part.

It starts with calling someone to tell them that I will have to reschedule this afternoon's prenatal. {How unprofessional! a murmur rises up in me. I was late to their last appointment after having to borrow a car at the last minute. And now this! Undecided whether I should explain what's happening at my house and with my family, or leave them wondering if I'm unreliable, I hesitate. Then, one little word comes to mind: Praise. Praise in the common words I speak. That's your new way to live.}

A smile crosses my face. Yes, in this, too.

What good is praise if it's only during the times when anyone's heart would sing for joy?

Not just praise on my lips, or even just praise in my heart.
A LIFE made up of praise in every part.

I've met a few people whose whole life appears to be a praise song to their Maker.
They just live different than the rest of us fretting, whining people.

My Jesus deserves that from my life.

My rest-of-2011-resolution? To sing this song pretty much every day, and to live it every day.

That's why I leave the book open to hymn #42 in the kitchen window nearly every day.

Will you join me? :)