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  • Kelli

Following the Song

I caught my daughter's eye as the wrong words popped up on the screen during the worship song. The congregation stumbled as we tried to follow the leader, making it feel a little like a "Simon Says" game playing out in the rows,

Simon the Leader says, "Hallelujah!"

"uhhhh.... Hallelujah!"


"uhhhh.... Amen?"

I wasn't familiar with the song, so I stopped singing to focus on hearing the melody, joining in on the second verse once I caught it. I found the harmony on the chorus- but didn't last long there as I meandered my vocal way back to where everyone else was. When the words were late popping up the chorus, we stalled out, not knowing what was coming next. The easy pattern of Verse 1, Verse 2, Chorus, Verse 3, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus suddenly (Shockingly!) interrupted by a surprise attack of a repeat of the Bridge.

I get confused when the verse I am expecting doesn't show up. I get antsy when I'm asked to repeat again and again and again the same lesson I already thought I had learned. I find comfort in a familiar song, knowing it well enough to sneak a peek at who's sitting around me. I find comfort in knowing the song, not wanting to learn something new. Maybe formulating a complaint in my head about how they really should sing more familiar songs that I'll pass along to Whomever It May Concern.

Wait...somehow singing worship songs from the screen at the front of the church service feels an awful lot like life and trying get it "right." I expect the direction to go this way, when a different verse pops up. I stumble to catch the melody everyone else seems to be singing as I quietly sing along, getting the words wrong, getting the tune wrong. How does everyone else know how to fit in?

Following a new song -words projecting on the screen in the front of church? It reminds me of life. Not knowing what's coming next, the unexpected verse popping up, the melody faintly recognizable, but different from what I've heard before. But, even with all my stumbling, the words remind me of who we're singing for, to and about. Even with my wrong notes, I find my way back to the tune, keeping time. Even with my unfamiliarity, I find comfort in knowing others around me know what's coming, can help lead me, encouraging me into the notes. Focusing on following the song, learning the words reminds me I have a choice. I can check out, deciding it's too difficult and just plain annoying, or I can focus and find my place, my melody, my part. Any surprises? I'll cross that Bridge when I come to it - twice if I have to.

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:3


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