The Christian Pilgrim Entreats the Savior to Lead Him
Lord, my God, I enter again upon a new day of my journey to eternity. Thou hast placed me as a pilgrim in the world, where I am not always to remain, but only to make myself ready for a better life.… But, O Jesus, thou who wast likewise a pilgrim on earth, stay by my side, and let me not swerve from the path which is prescribed to me, into the way of sin and misery.— The deceits of the world may entice me! I will withstand them, by thinking of the blessings that are prepared for me as thy follower. The great multitude may become false to thee! I will be among the small number of thy faithful worshipers. My own heart may seduce me! Thou art more powerful than my spoiled heart, and thy example more efficacious than all the lusts of the world. The valley of death through which I walk may affright me!— Let me only behold behind it a glimpse of that city of which I shall one day be the eternal inhabitant, and my courage will no longer fail. Truly I shall not always be a passing stranger. My wanderings will at last have an end: I shall arrive at that country of my own, which is destined to me in heaven. On this let me reflect, if ever the duration of my pilgrimage should appear long to me, and with this prospect let me cheer myself under all the cares of existence, that I may even here through belief in thee, O Christ, enjoy a portion of my celestial prerogative. Here I am already blessed. I feel here already a part of that felicity which shall afterwards, above, recompense my efforts and my perseverance. May the love of the Father, and the grace of Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost strengthen me! I experience already on earth the effects of the divine approbation, and the consolation of the world to come.
Fortified by these views I will stedfastly proceed during the few days of my remaining time in the path of trial and self-denial, and constantly exercise myself in those duties which will hereafter constitute my occupationand my joy. Be my course, my desire, my hope, and my pleasure in heaven! Dear to me above all shall be the blessings and the privileges which thou, my Savior, hast obtained for me, and never will I forfeit them through faithlessness towards thy sacred commandment, or through indolence in the work of self-amendment. Grant that through humility and love I may become like to Jesus! And then, when I am at the close of my course, then conduct me, O God, as a denizen of thy kingdom to that most perfect fruition of bliss which my faith has anticipated.
About the author and the source
Christopher Christian Sturm (1740–1786) was a German pastor known for his ardent faith. This found expression in a book of morning meditations that was translated into English.
Christopher Christian Sturm. Morning Communings with God. London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1830.