STLT#374, Since What We Choose Is What We Are

We’ve kinda sung this before.

No, I don’t mean that in some UU congregations, the royal ‘we’ have sung it. I mean that on July 16th, we sang an adaptation of this in the hymn Creative Love, Our Thanks We Give. In the full hymn version, we sing these lyrics adapted by Beth Ide:

Since what we choose is what we are,
and what we love we yet shall be,
the goal may ever shine afar —
the will to reach it makes us free.

There’s only one word changed – “reach” instead of William DeWitt Hyde’s original “win,” which we then use here in the doxology section:

Since what we choose is what we are,
and what we love we yet shall be,
the goal may ever shine afar —
the will to win it makes us free.

And all of this makes me less likely to use it at all as a doxology, because now that I know it’s the last verse of a hymn we sing, it feels like reading just the last chapter of a novel and wondering what happened in the rest of the book. (Have you ever done that, though? Read a final chapter of a book you’re not likely to read all of, and then make up the story for yourself? Or is this just one of those quirky things I did because I was a bookish, lonely child?)

Anyway. I sang it to all three tunes (plus “Hernando’s Hideaway” as per my snarky friends on Facebook), and to me it fits best with Tallis Canon. But I’m not sure I would use it, because I’m still not sure I buy the theology or the privilege of it.

One Comment

  1. I disagree with part of the premise but like the conclusion. No, we don’t choose what we are. Yes, what we dream we yet may be (I like the humility of that “may”). The goal is probably not reachable. Freedom lies in choosing what we will aim for.

    Much better in the context of the whole hymn, though there are things I dislike about those words also.

Leave a Reply