So I was in the library today (up on the north side of the 4th floor in a carrel). I was trying to study math but with little success. While I can understand the important concepts of linear algebra, I always, always, ALWAYS find some way to make an arithmetic error when I’m reducing a matrix. (And those mistakes are hard to find until you get to the end of a problem and have seven decidedly ugly fractions in the answer.) Finally I got so frustrated with myself and my seeming inability to do correct arithmetic that I just started to cry. It had already been a hard day, and this only compounded my grief. I tried to continue with my homework, but I couldn’t focus. I sat there for a long time, just thinking about my life and where I want to go and whether the things I’m doing now will help me get there.
Over to my right on the stacks, I noticed a very long series of periodicals. (They keep all the music-related periodicals on the 4th floor.) The first volumes of the series looked very, very old. I got out of my chair just to look at them and happened to pull out the 1908 volume. Each issue had a piece of music (which I assume were original for the publication) written in four-part harmony. Next to an insert with a facsimile of a letter by some famous composer I found this song:
God sends the Night
God sends the night to bid us rest
From all our cares, in slumbers blest.
The turmoil and the toil are past,
Peace o’er the earth descends at last;
Then aching hearts may rest awhile,
And sadden’d lips in dreams may smile,
God sends the night; at His behest
The weary world is hushed to rest.God sends the day to bid us wake:
Fresh glories at each morning break.
The world lies glist’ning in the dew,
Each day, each day a world begun anew,
In waking hearts the message rings,
“Oh on to nobler better things!”
God sends the day: the shadows break,
And His creation is awake!
–Text by Herbert J. Brandon
This text was comforting to read. God sends us respite from our cares, but brings again a new day with new opportunities. “Oh, on to nobler, better things!” Each morning that dawns ought to arouse in us gratitude to the Most High, and a determination to do better what we have been given to do. When again the night comes, God will give us rest. With hope, we may look forward to that day when He will say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21, KJV).