Prone to Wander

Come Thou Fount is one of my very favorite hymns. My sweet summer spent in Yellowstone gave me a renewed appreciation for many things; hymns are just one of them. While I enjoy newer songs, singing words to Jesus that have been used to worship him for years and years is so precious. Leading worship in the mountains, using mostly older hymns, solidified this truth in my heart. Come Thou Fount is one of my favorites, because it reminds me of who God is and just how much we need Him. Each word seems to call out to Him in both praise and longing for redemption.

Some of its verses seems especially relevant to me these days. The hymnist writes:

Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God… Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love… Here’s my heart, O, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

While these words are surely full of familiarity and comfort to some, they probably sound foreign and strange to others. This song reminds us that although Jesus is always pursuing us, we are easily distracted and tempted by things that aren’t nearly as good as he is. Even so, we long to return to God and allow Him to hold our hearts.

I don’t know about you, friend, but I am surely prone to wander. The title of this post could just as easily be the title of a memoir about my life. Moving around so much as a child taught me to be on the constant hunt for anything new- a new experience, a new friend, place or sight. While this is often a strength, it can easily develop into restlessness and discontentment as my curiosity takes me on paths away from God’s design. Being prone to wandering doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but when it leads me away from the God I love, it can end in nothing but destruction. It can be easy for my “wandering” heart to lead me to sin when I sacrifice my commitment to Jesus for lesser experiences.

During our trip to New England, Rhett and I had time aplenty to really wander; not toward sin, but through travel! Josh and Mark, two of the ministers on staff at Movement, sent us on our way in a rental car full of gas. They wanted us to fall in love with the area we’re moving to, and this couldn’t have been a better way for us to do so. Rhett and I were able to explore to our hearts’ content and take in all the beauty the Northeast has to offer, from a curvy mountain highway to a lighthouse on the coast.

I’m not gonna lie, we had a ton of fun and made memories we’ll be able to treasure for the rest of our lives. As someone who loves to travel, this was a dream come true. Travel is often a privilege and I am so grateful for our ability to drink life in through such a magnificent straw. But at the end of our time exploring, I was reminded that I have not been created to find contentment in my wandering, whether it’s through physical travel or something that might be sinful. As thrilling as it is, I wasn’t created for airplanes or road trips or new food and new songs. I may love the feeling of blustering wind on my face as I gaze at crashing waves, but this does not satisfy or fulfill me. Neither are we satisfied in jealousy, anger, cutting words or idolatry. Rather, I have been created to find wholeness in God and God alone, and so have you. Traveling is amazing, but it should only lead me to hunger after the Lord even more. I pray that God might take my heart and seal it for Himself. Today, I pray this for you as well.

Of course, our trip to New Hampshire was about so much more than experiencing the landscape of New England. We were able to attend church and several meetings, allowing us to meet so many new friends and get a taste of Movement’s community. Although we were only there a few days, we have come to love Movement dearly and we cannot wait to be back. We are so grateful for each and every one of you, whose kindness and welcoming hearts made us feel so encouraged and loved. Thank you.

Right now, our lives still feel a bit unsettled. We’re in Tulsa for the month of June, traveling some more for most of July and then we’ll be with my family in Indiana for August until we move to New Hampshire. Everything we own, save for some clothes and a tent, is packed away in my family’s garage. Although I love the transition new experiences have to offer, and I am so incredibly grateful for this time and our amazing families, I am also looking forward to being more stable come fall. Sometimes we’re prone to wander, and sometimes life puts us in seasons where wandering is inevitable. Either way, God is always, always, always calling us to Himself. Let us constantly allow our wandering to lead us back to Him.

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Joyfully exploring the White Mountains near Lincoln, New Hampshire.

 

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