Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Song

“The LORD is…my song…” (Psalm 118:14)

It’s no secret, I love to sing. In fact, I sometimes find it hard to refrain from doing so, even at inappropriate times. According to my old, faded baby book, I laughed aloud at five weeks (I haven’t stopped since!); and I was singing and dancing by eleven months. The dancing has tapered off somewhat through the years, but I’m still singing. Because I came to know the Lord at an early age, it’s only natural that gospel songs and the great hymns of the Church have made up the bulk of my “repertoire.” But I’ve always enjoyed other music, as well, as long as it did not offend my God-given Spiritual sensibilities.

Because our choice of subject matter in music is a good indication of what is going on in our souls, I find myself blessed today by music that is sometimes more pleasing to my heart than my ears! Some of the new songs being written often seem to me to involve the repetition of five or six notes; but I also see in many of them spiritual depth not seen in some of our “old” gospel songs. They were, and are, much easier to sing (at least, for me), but the Bible doesn’t give that as a criteria for music pleasing to God. If He is exalted (Psl. 9:11), the saints edified, and my own heart moved (Eph. 5:19), everything else I chalk up to individual taste. We all have musical preferences, but to make this a basis of spirituality and Christian fellowship is to place entertainment on an equal plain with edification.

But this is about my song. And as I get older as a musician, it seems to me that my life is not so much a series of transitions, but, rather, transpositions. By that I mean, the song remains the same; only the key changes. When I was younger, my voice would soar to the top notes with ease and agility; but now I find myself hesitant, and high notes are more likely to be touched than explored! Still, there’s a newfound depth to my lower register that may be less spectacular, but is just as satisfying to me…perhaps more so. The young girl who won a state competition singing “The Holy City” is now a matron who can envision that city in her mind’s eye more clearly every day. And the song of my life itself is the same one that began those many years ago. I may have had to transpose it as my circumstances changed, but the same melody goes on and on…and on.

Years ago, I sang a song that I always felt expressed my own feelings about singing. You see, my song is Jesus, and I have to sing it. It’s in my heart…

Though some may sing to pass the weary night along;

Though some may sing to entertain a worldly throng;

I sing because I worship God in song;

It’s in my heart; it’s in my heart.

You ask me how I find the time to read and pray;

You ask me how I smile when things are far from gay;
And how I sing His praises, come what may;
It’s in my heart; it’s in my heart.

It’s in my heart, this melody of love divine;

It’s in my heart, since I am His, and He is mine;

It’s in my heart, how can I help but sing and shine?

It’s in my heart…it’s in my heart!

—Arthur Slater

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