Sunday 30 April 2017

This is my Father's World

Sometimes, when we get caught up in too much thinking, worrying, and anxiety, we need to step away. Get out in to nature, take a deep breath, and listen.

Maltbie Davenport Babcock was born in 1858, attended Syracuse University and was a good student, athlete and musician. His first pastorate was in Lockport, and there he took frequent walks along the Niagara Escarpment telling his wife he was "going out to see the Father's world". He would run or hike a couple of miles into the countryside and lose himself in nature. When he was 42, his church gifted him with a trip to "the Holy Land". En route, at Naples, he contracted a bacterial fever and died. Shortly after his death in 1901 his wife published a compilation of Babcock's writings entitled Thoughts for Every-Day Living that contained the poem "My Father's World."

In 1915 Sheppard set it to music, "Shepard had been a close friend of Babcock's. Sheppard, apparently did not want to call attention to himself and signed using his initials rearranged as "S.F.L." Most sources state that Sheppard adapted the music from a traditional English melody. 

This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world,
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their maker's praise.
This is my Father's world,
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world.
O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Here's my favourite rendition, by Amy Grant. Lyrics only - the versions with pictures were icky.

You may also enjoy 

 Faithful as a Dandelion
Faithful as a Dandelion
Happy Sunday!


No comments: