Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why We Keep On Singing

We made it (more on that another day).

Now that I am in France I find myself disconnected.  Disconnected from friends and family and disconnected spiritually.  The spiritual food was free and free flowing in the land that I come from.  Now I have to forage for my own food because even the places serving here are speaking a tongue my heart can't recognize (YET).

So this new situation finds me a little more frequently in the land of social media.  I am a little more inclined to read the articles that circulate on Facebook if they are posted from a trusted friend.

The other day I found myself in just such a situation, reading a blog that was entitled Stop Singing Oceans or something to that effect.  I have sung that song so I opened it up for a read.

The author makes a good point that many people sing words in songs at church that they do not mean and that they never intend to follow through with.  This is her main point and I have no argument with the need to search our own hearts as we come to worship and that the words we sing should mean something.  (What follows is not an argument against her thoughts but where my heart has taken me since reading. )

Today I found myself thinking as I hiked back from class with my favorite Sojourn tunes blaring in my ears... what if I stopped singing every song that made me a hypocrite?  What if I stopped singing the songs that were hard for me or that I had blatantly contradicted with my thoughts or actions?  What if my struggle with fear and unbelief were put on a scale and weighed with the strength and passion of the words I sing?

I would have nothing to sing.
Sunday mornings would be mute.
People with their heads bowed low in shame... or no people at all because their half hearted attempt was exposed... why waste time faking it if you can't do it right?

We cannot do anything for God that He cannot do himself.
We have nothing to offer.

One thing I loved about Sunday gatherings is the idea that it is a time to remind ourselves of who we truly are.  
During the week you might do any manner of things that make you believe something about yourself... failure, weak, ugly, disappointment, selfish etc...
You and I are people with acute amnesia.
We need to meet together and remind each other of who we really are.

We are children of the one and only God.
We have been called and justified and LOVED.
We are being sanctified, renewed day by day, forgiven.

No matter how messed up you are, even if you can't muster up the strength to pretend you care, if you have been saved by the blood of Christ you can sing out.

Maybe for only a millisecond you truly mean with your heart what you sing... God can.
God can move you... even if you don't mean it!
God is bigger than your passion or lack thereof.
God is stronger than the clutch you have on your wallet, unbelieving boyfriend, identity.

I can say this with confidence b/c look at where I am!!
I prayed hundreds of times growing up that God WOULD NOT call me to overseas missions.  Maybe this is because I felt the nudge or just b/c I was terrified to be taken so far out of my comfort zone... As I grew up I felt I had a say in my destiny and so I no longer felt the need to pray against such a calling.
Then after years of struggling and uncertainty I opened my hands and in a short and simple prayer (not really even for myself as much as my hubs) I told God I was completely open, asked Him to reveal his will and I would go or do whatever.
Ummmm... two years later I was moving out of my house and waiting for Visas to move to France.
What the what?!

So brother.  Sister.  Raise your hands and sing out.  Open your heart as much as you can to your God. Ask the Spirit to help you.

You won't do it perfectly.
You will struggle to stay focused.  You will be distracted by that girl's super cute cardigan or that guy's awesome voice or that missed keyboard note or the cold or the hot or your whatever....
You can't worship right.
You can't make yourself holy or presentable before the sovereign God.
You just get to come in your rags and allow some one else to cloth you with their righteousness.