Friday, April 27, 2012

The Life that Sings

Psalm 104:33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Psalm 146:2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

I've heard the expression "the life that sings", but don't know the source. I'm thinking maybe a poem or book title. But I want to use it today as a metaphor for joyful and hilarious service to the Lord, as opposed to mere dutiful and mechanical service.

As with the hymn writer S. R. Penick, I hope I can truly say "My soul's delight has been to sing..." It wasn't always that way. I was raised in a home and family where singing was as essential as the the warp and woof of woven fabric. If there was a singing in the area, we would most likely be there participating. As a small child this was merely an unquestioned normal part of life. As I grew into a teenager I realized there were other things to do and that most other people were doing those other things. My life became not "a life that sings," but one that wanted to be somewhere else doing something else. Physically I was present; begrudgingly I was there. Finally a time came when the choice was mine, and I no longer attended and participated in singings. Then, with neither plans nor expectation, in a few short years my whole life changed. Like a boomerang I came back. I can't pinpoint a particular experience or trigger, but imperceptibly it all came back to me. I settled into "a life that sings" by choice, in exhilaration, and with love. I want these lines inscribed upon my tomb: "Here lies the dust of R.L.V., his spirit sings at home."

Every Christian is not a singer. Not only are there literal "lives that sing," but also spiritual lives that sing. That person may be tone deaf to earthly sounds of music, yet lives a life to joyfully and hilariously serve God. Not because he or she has to, but because they want to. Not just for duty, but for love.The "life that sings" is one that serves from a love springing deep within the heart. What duty is, the heart wants. We can and ought to be obedient children, faithful spouses, dutiful church members and sincere Christians. But does your life sing?

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Without love we are nothing. With love, the life sings.

Now shall my inward joys arise,
And burst into a song;
Almighty love inspires my heart,
And pleasure tunes my tongue.
(Isaac Watts)

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