There are some lines of this hymn that stir my soul and teach me truths about my life.
When we sing out about, "Tune my heart to sing thy praises," that feels to me like one of the deepest prayers for my life I could pray. I want not just the words of my mouth or the countless thoughts to be caught up in proclaiming and praising God, but also my heart - that which is at the center and core of who I am. Yet, the heart is valuable real estate. Certainly my family has a claim on my heart and has left a deep/abiding impression. The people of God with whom I serve have impacted/imprinted their presence and love on my heart. Those who struggle and suffer. Those whose friendship means more than words could ever express. The question becomes is our heart just a parcel that gets divided OR is our heart so inexhaustible and ever expansive that actually the more people we love, the larger our heart grows? (By the way, this is the central question of the Dr. Suess book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.) Is life just trying to manage the resources OR is life about letting go realizing that even if we could cling to something/someone we can't ever control? Is life basically good and generative and the moral arc heading toward justice OR are all the wheels about to come off the train?
Perhaps it isn't either/or. There is always evidence and experiences in our life/world of both/and. But even as we try to live in the messy middle of both/and thinking...at least for me....I need the constant reminder to hear the good...the challenge to love more...that I can't cling/control everything...that God is still creating and placing commas all around life.
But...you might object...look around. Yes, there is lots of brokenness. But, that has often been the case. Fifty years ago, people's hearts were grieving the tragic death of Rev. Dr. King, only to then hear Bobby Kennedy was shot. One hundred years ago we were engaged in World War One, there was an outbreak of Spanish flu killing people and women couldn't even vote! Brokenness is part of life. But it is not the only truth.
Yet, there are times, as the hymn says, "I am prone to wander". I get lost in the weeds of thinking something is the worst thing ever. I need a hymn like this one to tune my heart and help we wander back to wonder! Wonder of a warm summer day. Wonder of grace that comes unconditionally and unceasingly. Wonder of people whose love really makes all the difference.
It is my prayer that as you listen to this hymn there will be more than a trace of God's grace and it will set your heart toward the One who is with us and for us always.