better for the sweetness of our song

Tonight I need a bit of adrenaline for my soul … I love this poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning that she entitles, “Work and Contemplation.” 

  The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
    A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole;
    She thinketh of her song, upon the whole,
    Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel
    Is full, and artfully her fingers feel
    With quick adjustment, provident control,
    The lines, too subtly twisted to unroll
    Out to a perfect thread. I hence appeal
    To the dear Christian Church, that we may do
    Our Father’s business in these temples mirk,
    Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong;
    While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue
    Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work
    The better for the sweetness of our song.

Her point … the focus of our being, our thoughts, our soul … should be on Him whom we serve … on being … not so much on doing.  In that process the melody of our lives rings pure, true, sweet.

Peterson’s paraphrase of Hebrews 12:2-3 says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

Could that be what Browning was so eloquently saying to us … look to him who is the author and perfecter of our faith?

May the song of my life be sweet … a high calm spheric tune … not because of any action I might muster … but because my gaze is on him.

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