“There is nothing new under the sun”, Ecclesiastes says, and how true! I’ve been doing more thinking than usual lately (yes, I am aware of how odd that sounds)… and one thought that keeps coming back is how many people have lived and everything I do and think and feel as been done and thought and felt by other people, for generations. I mean, sure, none of them had a Kindle or cars you could plug into a power outlet… not to mention a power outlet… but you know what I mean. Humans haven’t changed a bit since that angel with the flaming sword took up his post before the garden.
And a lot of times, things that I think are new… are far from it. Eventually when looking back in history you can find the origin, or the original - and realize that what we think is something new is really just an echo – slightly distorted and changed from all of the bouncing through the years it’s done – but all the same an echo of something that came before.
I was just listening to the song by Gungor, “Late Have I Loved You”
Beautiful, no? Well while looking it up tonight, I discovered this excerpt from “The Confessions of St. Augustine”:
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
I don’t think I need to tell you which came first, St. Augustine’s words or Gungor’s song.
But HOW NEAT IS THAT??? Where I thought Gungor had written (had wrote? sounds odd either way) that song from scratch, it was actually from the poetry of a bishop who lived almost 2,000 years ago!
Maybe you Bible scholars and smart people have already read and analyzed and memorized St. Augustine’s writings, and recognized his words in this song. I’m not that smart. Yet. (Confessions of St. Augustine is on my to-read list)
Needless to say, this revelation does not decrease the beauty of the song. QUITE the contrary. This song has an entirely new meaning, because it is the blending of one man’s thoughts, and another man’s musical talents, and those two men lived two thousand years apart and never met. Yet they both loved the same God, and that amazing, fiery bond that comes from the Holy Spirit and occurs between believers when they meet transcends nationality and language and age and even time… because when we read the words of another that loved God, they speak directly to our heart, because we know the One of whom the words speak.
We know the One of whom the words sing.
And He is not only forever, but unchanging.
Anyway, I thought that was neat. And I wonder what other songs, etc, are out there that are simply old words re-spoken… and what will be when, centuries down the road, our words are the words of the past
Pieces from our very heart and soul that we leave behind, scattered in humanity’s footsteps, every day of every year of every century that has been and will be – as the will and hand and breath of God begins our life, we spend our few breaths, and then depart our temporary tent.
Leaving behind us our love letters to our Creator.