Picture it, Ireland, the 8th century. These words were penned anonymously:
Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart- Nought 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.
They came to us in the form of English prose in 1905, appearing in the journal, Erin.
Then later, in 1912, were put into verse form by Eleanor H. Hull. Think for a moment of all the names for God that are mentioned in this hymn- Vision, Lord of my heart, best thought, Light, True word, great Father, inheritance, High King of heaven... just to name a few! The tune that is paired with these words, SLANE, is a traditional Irish air, published in Patrick W. Joyce’s Old Irish Folk Music and Songs in 1909. The tune name, SLANE, comes from a hill about 10 miles from Tara, in County Meath. Here, it is said that St. Patrick lit the Paschal fire on the eve of Easter, against orders of the Druid priests and King Loegaire. There is another verse of Be Thou My Vision that doesn’t appear in our hymnal:
Be Thou my breast-plate, my sword for the fight, Be Thou my armour, and be Thou my might; Thou my soul’s shelter, and Thou my high tower, Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my Power.
May our eyes be ever upward, our ears be ever open, and our hearts be ever accepting for what God is calling us to do here in Dyersburg. May God be our Vision, our best thought, and our Treasure.