Be Thou My Version
I was sitting behind a worship leader during a service and I could see her notes about what the praise band would be singing next. On the paper, she had written, “Be Thou My Version.” I chuckled but then wondered if this was some new contemporary song that I hadn’t heard of yet and frankly couldn’t quite imagine where it was going in its message. But then as the service continued, sure enough! The song they sang was an upbeat, modernized version of “Be Thou My Vision.”
I’ve contemplated this Freudian slip of the hand and as I read Acts 16:6-10. Paul and Timothy had a plan to “turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route.” So they proceeded to go another way, “but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either.” They ventured yet on another route until finally Paul had a dream where a Macedonian was beckoning them to “come over to Macedonia and help us!” It says that “the dream gave Paul his map.”
While it’s important to plan–Paul did it regularly–it’s also important to know when what we are doing is our version of God’s vision.
I’m impressed by this story that Paul’s version wasn’t as big as God’s vision. By going to Macedonia, Paul’s world and therefore the church’s witness and outreach was significantly enlarged.
Are our versions small and sometimes even self-centered, asking what we want to do instead of what God is calling us to do?
Are our versions limited to our own and people like us instead of reaching out to God’s people everywhere?
Are our versions tight-fisted instead of generous in helping others?
Are our versions reflections of what we’ve done before and how we’ve done it instead of rethinking and imagining what God can do through us in new ways?
How has God given you a new song to sing? Changing it from “Be Thou My Version” to “Be Thou My Vision?”