There was no yelling or screaming.
Nobody raised their voices there in the green room.
Nobody slammed their hands down on a table of free granola bars in rage.
It wasn’t that type of argument at all, but a worship leader and I did end up discussing something I strongly disagreed with. (It wasn’t about ending sentences with prepositions. I clearly have no problem with that.)
The worship leader I talked to said when he performed “Come Thou Fount,” he changed the lyrics.
I love that hymn.
For years, I listened to the version Jadon Lavik did. My favorite verse, the one I found most encouraging, when things felt the darkest in my spiritual walk, was this one:
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.
I would like to say that, when I became a Christian, I quit making mistakes. I quit sinning. I quit being “prone to wander,” but the truth is I still fail. More than I’d like to. And the beauty of that song and the honesty of that last verse meant a lot to me.
So what verse was the worship leader changing?
His argument? He wasn’t “prone to wander or prone to leave.”
At this point in the conversation, I realized he was not like me.
Or “That’s not my wife, that’s my sister!” Abraham.
He was changing the lyrics to something like, “Prone to worship, prone to praise.”
And I thought about changing them too. Only mine would probably be, “Prone to bolt out the door like a dog if I see it cracked open for but the briefest of seconds, Prone to need grace one thousand times, for the things I promised myself I’d never do again but still did. ”
I’ve seen arguments online about the definition of the word “prone,” and maybe you can make a case there. (Then again, when we sing that God is a lion inside us, nobody argues that technically speaking, you don’t have a real lion inside you.) And I know the sad backstory of the guy who wrote the original hymn. But when people think Christians are fake, I think this is part of the reason why.
We tell each other we’re not prone to wander.
We act like our days of falling down are forever behind us.
And we create environments where no one can be honest.
You can’t share your whole life with somebody when the expectation is that you don’t fail.
You can only share the victories. And if you don’t have any victories that day or week, you better act like you do. Because as a Christian, you shouldn’t be prone to wander. And if you have, you just might not be a real Christian after all.