“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 NIV)
One of my favorite hymns is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” One of the lines that stands out confesses: “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.”
Amazing vulnerability. The hymn-writer touches a deep emotional chord with us, if we’re being honest. We are people who drift. We get bored or uninterested. We get angry and upset. We get distracted or disappointed. Sometimes we’re simply overly obsessed with what we’re into. And we wander.
Admitting that we are creatures “prone to wander” is frightening. Being aware of wanderlust in our relationship with Christ can be a source of anxiety. After all, we don’t want to wander, we just recognize the tendency in our makeup.
But admitting that we are “prone to wander” is also freeing. It is freeing because it is true, and the truth always sets us free. The Israelites were wanderers too. Owning up to the fact that we are wanderers helps us receive the first command as a life-giving reminder to lay down our wandering heart and pray to God, again with the hymn, “Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.”
Prayer: God, I admit that I am “prone to wander” from your gracious lordship. May I receive your first command as a life-giving instruction to put away my wandering heart and bind myself to you in order to find true freedom for my soul. Amen.