I remember the ambivalence of sitting on a hard pew in a small country church as a kid. I actually enjoyed some of the hymns and especially enjoyed getting picked to choose a song or two. But there were a few songs that made me want to run from the room screaming. Some of the old timers would pick “All That Thrills My Soul is Jesus” and require us to sing all five stanzas.
Can anything be more boring than 4×4 time pounded out on an upright piano? Even today I have trouble getting past the arrangement to the words of the song. But even then, I really wasn’t all that interested in the words. Girls, gadgets and games had my attention at the time. All that thrilled me had everything to do with what lay outside those four block walls. Sitting in church was nothing more than a mind (and backside) numbing exercise required of me since Dad was the pastor (and no, I don’t think I’m bitter, just candid).
For years I played the game of religion until one day I was caught. Someone called my bluff, suggesting that what lay behind my Bible knowledge and assurance of things therein was nothing more than empty bluster. I fought back. He was wrong. I was sure of it. Until I had a dream that literally unraveled me – but that’s another story.
From that day forward, the journey has been treacherous and difficult at times but rewarding nonetheless. Each season has born the fruit of urgency and desire for greater depths in Him. I still wish someone would come up with a better tune for the words of the song, but I am more able to say today than ever before, “All that thrills my soul is Jesus.”
My prayer for you today is that you find your heart’s true center as you abandon yourself in praise to the Lover of your soul. After all, “The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.” (Jonathan Edwards)