February 9, 2009

Teach Me

I love hymns. I grew up singing them in church every Sunday. Hymns are disappearing from some churches and I wonder why. My friends and I used to joke that singing hymns and reading the King James Bible while growing up raised our SAT verbal scores by at least a hundred points!

Anytime I have a chance to listen to hymns, I listen. While browsing in the public library a few weeks ago, I came across a CD titled "Country Hymns & Songs of Faith." I'm not a country music fan, but I borrowed the CD and listened to it at home. I was overcome by Ronnie Freeman's version of "Come Thou Fount."

My father (who, by his own admission, was NOT a singer),walked around our house when I was a little girl singing Come Thou Fount. One line from this hymn jumps out at me: "Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above."

What an incredible thought: God will teach us the praises sung in heaven. As I thought more and more about this, I asked myself: What does God want us to say about our lives, our hopes, our experiences, His work in our lives? What does God want us to say?

I don't believe in the "say it and you can have it" stuff that's floating around. How many of us honestly want to be responsible (or can be responsible) for knowing the best thing for ourselves at all times and saying only those things? But I love the idea of asking God what He wants us to say about our experiences, our problems, our successes.

If we are trusting Him, we should speak well of our lives. Our immediate circumstances may be less than we want or desire, but we can speak well of our lives and of what God is doing in and through us. Our situation may be dire and downright frightening, but we can still speak well of what God will do in and through us. It's not over. We can speak well of our lives because God is at work in us, and others, to express His will in the world.

I need God to speak to me and teach me what to say and think about my life, what it means, and why I have been placed in this time. In the middle of all of the uncertainty a lot of us are facing, there is room for praise.

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