Tuesday, 7 February 2012

February 4, 1874

Among the many things that must have taken place in 1874, some fascinating ones occurred in February of that year. On February 21, of that year the Oakland Daily Tribune published its first newspaper. On February 23, Walter Clopton Wingfield patented a game called "sphairistike" which is more commonly called lawn tennis. However, among the gems of that year created on the 4th day of February is a hymn that was written by Frances Ridley Havergal entitled “Take my life and let it be”. This magnificent popular hymn of commitment still moves us to a greater sense of dedication to God. Here are the words:

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

I doubt that most people in the 21st century have come to this conclusion. The conclusion that our lives are not ours, and that we are merely stewards of our lives and our possessions. Not stewards of some things, but stewards of everything. If that value was at the core of all we do, then our lives would be remarkably different. Firstly, we would always ask how must I use these moments Lord; how must I use these abilities Lord; how must I use these possessions Lord: indeed, take my life and all that exists in it for Thee.

At Northern Caribbean University our core values are captured in the word CARES, so we speak of NCU CARES. The ‘S’ in CARES stands for Stewardship. It is the essence of this song that constitutes stewardship. Perhaps if we kept this song in our hearts the beat to which our lives would find its sweetest rhythm, would be the music of heaven.