OH, THE BITTER SHAME AND SORROW

 

Oh, the bitter shame and sorrow,

That a time could ever be,

When I let the Saviour’s pity

Plead in vain, and proudly answered,

“All of self, and none of Thee!”

 

Yet He found me; I beheld Him

Bleeding on the accursed tree,

Heard Him pray, “Forgive them,
Father!”

And my wistful heart said faintly-

“Some of self, and some of Thee.”

 

Day by day His tender mercy,

Healing, helping, full, and free,

Sweet and strong, and, ah! so
patient,

Brought me lower, while I whispered,

“Less of self, and more of Thee.”

 

Higher than the highest heavens,

Deeper than the deepest sea,

Lord, Thy love at last has conquered;

Grant me now my supplication –

“None of self, and all of Thee.”

What I appreciate about this song is the fact that it occurs in stages. I’m sure that one can revisit certain steps in the process (though perhaps when you reach the last line, you need not/would not go back?) I think on a good day I would find myself somewhere in the third stanza. I probably average in the 2nd and 3rd stanzas in terms of how much life and control I have relinquished to the Lord. But how to get to “None of self, and all of Thee.”?

At church today I thought of a pretty good way to think about it using multiplication. Let’s say that in terms of strength and importance of desires a ‘1’ is 100%, meaning complete control and ultimate importance, and ‘0’ means no control or importance at all.

So a translation of “None of self, and all of Thee” might be:

the weighted formula of my life –

0*(my desires)+1*(God’s desires) = God’s desires

Notice that this formula takes into account the fact that one will have desires that differ from God’s desires for oneself, but to declare “Lord, none of self and all of Thee” means you have to discount your desires whenever they conflict with God’s.

But I think what I have been seeing lately, and what has been infinitely encouraging, is that if you walk with God for long enough, and if in your faith you choose to be obedient even when you may not understand, the amazing thing is that you find that your desires begin to align with His. The things you were terrified that He might call you to earlier in your walk become your joy, and it becomes hard to see how you could ever have desired anything else.

And when (my desires) = (God’s desires) I will literally be able to do whatever I want (and be empowered to as well!).

On another note, one of the best views in Berkeley is when you get on to 24W from Claremont and right as you get to the top of the ramp the landscape opens out in front of you. If it’s a clear evening around sunset the colors of the sky, the reflections on the bay, the panorama of SF the Golden Gate Bridge and all the way up north are seriously breathtaking. It’s just a shame that the only time you get to see it is from a moving vehicle and if you’re driving, taking a picture is probably ill-advised.

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~ by justinhong on January 21, 2008.

4 Responses to “”

  1. another way to state it is,let α (alpha) be the coefficient to my desires.let 1-α be the coefficient to God’s desires.Your weighted formula now becomes: α * my desires + (1-α) * God’s desireswe grow in maturity as α approaches zero.enough of that. dood. i know that view off of the 24. amazing.

  2. dang your formula is better than mine. or at least a more general version haha

  3. Oh, my, so geeky. Anyway, the 24 is technically in Oakland and not Berkeley.

  4. Thanks for putting the lyrics of that song up… I really really liked it to. Actually I enjoyed the whole set last night it left me feeling so much joy and deep amazement towards God. All of the lyrics were so true and solid. I love the 3rd stanza perhaps because it’s how I feel most of the time too.

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