Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sing Out Loud

(Just Don't Embarrass Yourself)

Do you like to sing in your car? Have you ever been driving along and been the recipient of a funny look from someone in the car next to you, only to realize you were singing at the top of your lungs?

It’s happened to me more than once. Some of the songs sweep me up and I tend to forget about the people who might see me singing my heart out. Lucky for me, my window is usually rolled up. Let me just pause right now to put a little extra emphasis on that word: Usually.

One day last summer I was going to Cranberry Lake. It’s part of a state park, so you have to stop at the ranger’s booth. If you’re camping you go in one lane and stop at one station, and if you’re just going to the beach or lake, you take the other lane where no one is ever in the little booth. So I always stop at the stop sign as directed, and then continue on.

However…on this particular day when I did have my window rolled down because it was an unusual 85 degrees, I just so happened to be singing these words from MercyMe's I Can Only Imagine:

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I stopped at the booth and looked to the left before I pulled forward.

“Have a nice day, ma’am,” said the teenaged boy in the ranger’s booth. His brown eyes crinkled in amusement as he leaned out the window smiling at me.

I gave him what I’m sure was a weak smile and responded in kind and continued on my way. As I wound my way up and down the hills through the woods before the lake came into view, I laughed.

So what if I don’t have the best singing voice in the world? So what if I was singing my heart out to God? There’s nothing wrong with that. It keeps me connected to Him. To me, singing to God is akin to praying. It’s important for me to have that spiritual uplifting. And at the very least, I brought a little bit of laughter to that young man’s day.

The next week, as I approached the checkpoint, the radio was playing one of my favorites written by Chris Tomlin and performed by Lincoln Brewster: Everlasting God. Who could help but sing along with such a rousing and truthful song?

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord....
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God...

Still, remembering last week, I closed my mouth and turned down the radio. Just in case. It was, after all, 85 degrees again and my window was down.

Yes, he was there.

And I’m positive he remembered me because he leaned way out the window to say hello with a smile that was much wider than the week before.

Why am I telling you this embarrassing story? Because for the next couple of weeks at Inkwell Inspirations, we’re doing a Sing-A-Song theme and I hope you’ll join us to see all the different ways myself and the other Inkies are blessed by song. My day to post is February 16th. I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, when you sing hymns or songs of worship and praise, don't be embarrassed if you don't have the best singing voice in the world or if someone else hears you. Simply focus your heart on God. Keep Him in the forefront of your mind and sing directly to Him. I know you’ll be blessed.

Song Credits:
I Can Only Imagine - Bart Millard/MercyMe

Everlasting God - written by Chris Tomlin/performed by Lincoln Brewster

Photo Credits:
Suzie Johnson