Keith Pate

One definition of the word is “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.” This definition comes close to describing the meaning of the words in the hymn Be Thou My Vision. This great hymn of our faith, penned by an anonymous author, originated between the years 400 and 700 A.D. among the Irish people. During this era, Ireland was a place of great faith and missionary zeal. Some scholars believe the hymn was a product of this evangelistic fervor. It wasn’t until the early 20th century when the hymn was translated and partnered with the tune, SLANE, that it became widely known.

The hymn challenges believers to a single-hearted focus and devotion to Christ. Pastor Josh in his sermon this past Sunday, brought to our attention things that cloud our vision and vie for our allegiance to Christ. How often these “things” or substitutions slowly creep into our lives, and we experience a Slow Fade as the Contemporary Christian group Casting Crowns describe so well.

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34. Treasure here means far more than monetary gain, though that is a major part. Treasure can also be found in our job, position, status, family, sports involvements, education, hobbies, music, or anything that takes our utmost attention, time and passion.

We as Christians claim to put JESUS CHRIST at the top of our priority list, but do our actions bear witness to our words? Is Christ our “true vision” or have our own desires and plans slowly taken first place? 

As we prepare to sing a fresh interpretation of the hymn Be Thou My Vision this coming Sunday, ponder the words as we reexamine our “vision” in life.

Be Thou my Vison, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art—
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.