The carillon in the Baptist church bell tower was playing that great old hymn, Faith of our Fathers, while I walked to work one morning and when it came to the phrase, “in spite of dungeon, fire and sword,” I misremembered the words as “in spite of hunger, fire and sword.”
That mangled version of the words ran through my mind all day and I decided it was a good mantra to firm up my wavering resolve to stick to my diet. Eventually, I decided this was a good slogan to remind me to keep strong in my Christian faith.
We can often be tempted to slip away from the narrow path by our hunger, meaning a feeling of deprivation or a desire for things; by fire, representing the trials we face; and by the sword, feelings of pain and loss. Holding fast in all these tests will keep us true to the faith our Christian forebears and our Father in Heaven handed down to us.
When humming the hymn again, just now, before sitting down to the keyboard to write, the words came to mind correctly and I realized my silly mistake. However, my original analogy still holds and I’m considering adding a new stanza to the grand old hymn, one about holding fast to Christ in spite of hunger, poor memory and silly mistakes, and in spite of everything, just as did the fathers of the faith.