On a 3x5 Post-It™ note, of all things, I wrote this tune and the first verse of its lyrics, back on Feb. 23rd of 2017— then finished the other three verses the following day.
During these past five decades I've hastily scribbled down songs on envelopes, in stores, in my car on the way to or from work— even on a Kleenex™ once, just as the music was ready to begin at a funeral service.
Sadly, for me personally, this song gives sober reflection on how many HOURS of precious TIME I have wasted in my fifty years as a Christian.
Reading the news, enjoying and re-reading hundreds of books, and chasing after more hobbies and interests than one man should possibly have may not be the best example of a life separated unto God, and I wonder how it will all look when I suddenly awake in Eternity, and know as I am known.
The Good News is, that God just keeps on giving, forgiving, giving and forgiving.
So whenever I am tempted to be unforgiving toward one of my fellow-travelers— and usually long before I've reached the 70 times 7 that Jesus taught— I want to just remember the first two lines in verse 4 of this hymn: "Ten thousand gifts He will impart, Ten thousand mercies free!" and I want to do a lot better at living out its beautiful conclusion: "May every beating of my heart declare my love to Thee."
Special thanks to Dorothy Bauman for the haunting harmony on this hymn, and our gratitude goes once again to our eight singer-friends and all who made this recording possible.
HAD I TEN THOUSAND TONGUES TO PRAISE
Had I ten thousand tongues to praise,
Ten thousand lives to live,
Ten thousand anthems would I raise,
And all to Jesus give, And all to Jesus give!
But see this little life of mine--
How oft it fails to bless!
Shall I to lesser things incline
And larger paths possess, And larger paths possess?
Ten thousand hours I've wasted, Lord,
To chase the useless thing--
Ten thousand dying deeds and words,
In careless languishing, In careless languishing.
Ten thousand gifts He will impart,
Ten thousand mercies free!
May every beating of my heart
Declare my love to Thee, Declare my love to Thee.
© 2017 Stanley K. Brubaker / Brooksong LLC
Written Feb.23-24, 2017