The Spiritual Discipline of Singing

My daughter is a professional musician. I am exaggerating a little. Because I am a proud Mamma and all. You see my daughter has been paid a few times to fill in as a church pianist at a small church. She did well enough that they have asked her to come play for them once a month. Again, I am proud. But with the all the glamour of being a professional church pianist (Wait while I finish laughing, LOLOL. I can’t write that with a straight face) Comes a lot of practice. So much practicing. If my daughter has played the Doxology and the Gloria Patri once she has played them a hundred times. She plays them every day so when the time to play in the church comes she will get it right. And I have to say her playing this music has benefitted me almost as much as it has her.

For I get to hear these beloved songs a hundred times over.

I am not a morning person. But my daughter is. So before school, while it is still dark out she will run through her songs. As I am crawling out of bed and my mind is filling with a thousand things I have to do that day I hear the familiar notes. And my brain automatically starts singing along to the song I sang every Sunday for 18 years, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise God all creatures here below.” And my brain stays with those words long enough to switch from worrying about my to-dos to being grateful for all that is good and beautiful in my life. My daughter not only practices in the morning, but she also plays after school. By this time I am already a little tired and maybe the day has not gone as well as I had wished. I am likely to be running over some frustration in my mind. And then the music floats in my ear again. This time my brain starts singing along to “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shalt be. World without end. Amen. Amen.” All of a sudden my frustrations shrink in size. They are put in perspective to the eternal and everlasting God that created, redeems and sustains me. I am reminded it will all be okay in the end. My daughter usually puts in one more round of practice after dinner. By this time I am definitely tired and have mixed feelings about my day. I did not get all the things done I wanted to do. I did some things I wish I had not done. I am wrestling with regret. And then the sounds of a familiar chorus fill my ear. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And all these things will be added unto you. Alleluia.” I am reminded I do not have to get it all right. I only have to seek to walk with Jesus. The rest is grace. I can go to sleep in peace. Alleluia. I know not everyone has a pianist in their house playing them through the day, but everyone does have access to music in their lives and the choice to play songs that encourage and heal and bring peace. And whether you sing along to the “Gloria Patri” or U2s “Gloria”, sing along to something that speaks to your soul and brings you back to the heart of God.

For that is the beauty of music, it not just about words and melodies, but the transformation of our hearts. 

So sing my friends! Sing early in the morning and late and night and anytime in between. Sing in the car or with a choir or to your children. Sing! Preferably sing certain songs over and over until they are written on your soul. Sing till the song becomes a part of you and you become a part of the song. ********************************************************************************* What are the songs that shape your days? How does music bring you back to the heart of God?]]>

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