Meditation:  Yet with a Steady Beat

Lift Every Voice and Sing is a hymn also known as the Black National Anthem.  Written by James Weldon Johnson in 1899, this hymn recalls the passion, pain, and progress of African-American people.  True progress is NOT found in materialism, technological savvy, nor political clout.  True progress is found in spiritual maturity.  What we become as a person is what matters.  This is what all great mystics teach.  How do we promote spiritual health?  We promote spiritual health by being that which is true, just, merciful, loving and spiritually well.  In the hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing, there is a stanza that reminds us of the call to be fully present and to never give up the movement towards health and healing.  The words are as follows:

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our parents  sighed

Each journey has its own beat and rhythm.  Through meditation and a life of mindfulness we can meet each challenge in the power of the Great Spirit.  Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet come to the place for which our parents sighed.  Live each moment mindfully.  Live each moment fully.  Live each moment in loving-kindness.  This takes discipline and commitment.  Yet with a steady beat….   Honor the journey.

anthony glenn miller

sun

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered

Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
———
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.

sun

And Darius sent with them a thousand cavalry to take them back to Jerusalem in safety,

with the music of drums and flutes; all their kindred were making merry.

And he made them go up with them.

I Esdras 5: 2-3