Ah, September. The month of new beginnings. (Yes, the argument can be made this distinction belongs to January, but when your schedule is tied to the school calendar, September is the month.) Crisp notebooks with pristine pages waiting to be filled. Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils passed from friend to friend. (If you can name the movie that line is from, you are a kindred spirit.)
I throw my arms open to anything that hints at organization and scheduling. I create menus, schedule days, and happily search for better planning apps on my phone. I hang the big school calendar in a high traffic area and slap stickers for every occasion onto the squares.
I am undaunted by the thought that all these organizational efforts may have fallen by the wayside before we carve the turkey a month from now. This month, I will zealously tackle lists, agendas, in boxes and out boxes.
Thus, I was reminded that I had not posted about my favorite things in a long time. A grievous oversight I intend to correct this very day.
Hymns. I LOVE them! I love the soaring harmony I hear perfectly in my head though I cannot reproduce the sound. I love the words, the poetry.
While I also love many of the modern choruses, there is a depth and timelessness in the hymns of old. So, I will share one of my favourites with you. “My Jesus I Love Thee,” was written by Canadian, William Ralph Featherston around 1864. I was fascinated to learn that this poem was not written by an educated scholar or teacher, but rather, by a young teen who had just given his life to Jesus. He is believed to be either 12 or 16 when he wrote the poem and when he died at the age of 27, he never knew his poem would be set to music and become a beloved hymn.
It is dear to me because of the truth it proclaims. I love Him, because He loved me first. He did it all, I need only respond. You see, I can try really hard to get it all together. It works. Sometimes. For a while. Inevitably though, my messiness comes through. (Yes, my French friend, if you are reading this, I will need your organizational expertise very shortly once again!) All my fresh starts end up at the same wretched conclusion until I reach up to grasp the hand that is reaching down to me.
I can’t help but wonder if young Featherston had any idea when he wrote his love song, that there would be only several short years before the death dew would lie cold on his own brow. I wonder if as he exhaled the last of his borrowed breaths, he entered heaven with his glittering crown, singing his love song with heavenly back up.
I know he would have proclaimed that every sin he resigned, however difficult or sacrificial it seemed at the time, was nothing compared to the glory that greeted him with the first glimpse of an outstretched, nail scarred, hand.