Recovering God - Rhythm - David's mixed metaphor
Ps. 40:3 - The Message
"He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
They enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God."
There is a major incongruity here...a mixed metaphor if you will.
David says God taught him to sing...then he says that people are seeing this...
Wouldn't the more natural verb be people are "hearing" or "listening" to the song?
But David uses the word "seeing."
Naturally this caused a lot of brain confusion for me - I myself wanting to enter the mystery of why David would mix metaphors -
Well - first, he's a poet - and we all know poets and artists can do what they want even if it doesn't really make sense. Beauty doesn't have to make sense.
Second, he's also King David - a man after God's own heart whose songs and heart cries (including really wicked impreccatory words of righteous anger) are Holy Scripture - inspired by God. So this is no mistake on his part.
So this is what I "saw" as I leaned into the text this morning.
When I am driving down the road with my stereo playing a song that moves my heart...it quite often also moves my fingers and hands to tap on the steering wheel. Have you ever looked into your rearview mirror to see a person bouncing their head and banging their hands and belting out some song as if they are auditioning for the next American Idol? You snicker because you caught them doing what you usually do - but would hate to be caught doing. You do not hear one word of what's being sung...but you see very obviously that the melody has moved their mouth, hands and head.
That is what music does...it moves us. God never intended music to merely be sung. We were not intended to just to utter words like, "I could sing of your love forever." Who cares? But if that singing doesn't stir your pulse, move your feet, sway your body, create a beat to walk to...who cares?
Music only heard is "nice." Lift your snobby nose in the air and clap like an aristocrat.
Our world doesn't need nice.
We need rhythm. David danced before the Lord with all his might. And what was his response to the naysayers? "I'll become even more undignified than this... I will celebrate before the Lord." 2 Sam 6:22.
We need the people of God whom God is teaching his songs to actually MOVE to the rhythm he is giving. When I see someone doing what they were created to do - I am so inspired. They are dancing, singing, praying, creating, loving right in step with their inner God-rhythm/melody. There is nothing more beautiful. And when others see this -
they too are given the courage to enter the mystery...
to abandon themselves to God's melody for their own lives...
to abandon themselves to the rhythm that is uniquely theirs ...
and to live that rhythm out before the world...turning our backs on what the world worships...not living to the conformity of the world's rhythms. No - tuning into God channels by learning to taste and see and hear and smell and feel the God wonders all around us.
Are people entering the mystery and abandoning themselves to God? If not, one has to wonder if our singing on Sundays is that alone. We are singing...but it is not being seen. Most of us know our neighbors and friends - the people outside the four walls of our fellowship/group - may never hear us sing on Sunday...but they will see whether or not that singing has moved our feet to tap, our mouths to utter hope and truth, our arms to love...
Let God teach you how to sing the latest God song...it is YOUR song...it is YOUR rhythm... it is what he wants to teach you so that you move your feet and tap your hands and stay in step with the melody and rhythm he has put in you. It is unlike any other. Listen for YOUR song...for YOUR God-given rhythm...it's there as sure as the blood is pulsing through your veins. And start dancing to it...irrepressibly let yourself do the things you cannot not do for reasons you cannot explain.
I, nor anyone else can teach you abandonment. It happens as you let God teach you His rhythm for you...and you let that rhythm pulse through you...
Others will see ... others will say, "I want that too." They'll dip in their toes, and learn the freedom of the "unforced rhythms of Grace."