I revel in the rhythm of the seasons each year, and we are in one right now here in South Dakota. Summer is waning: the evening air is crisp, and the sunlight is a deeper gold. I’ve been pondering the seasons of life during my morning walks as I observe summer slowly tiptoeing into autumn. I’m keenly aware of how the rhythm of my life is changing as well; there is a certain adagio, a slowing in my spirit. The kind of slowing that is welcomed, setting a new time scale, as it were, to the song my life. My appreciation to the LORD for this is described in today’s Mass reading from Psalm 96!
O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
The theme of the daily liturgy over this last week or so culminates in the poetry of this psalm. You may remember what we read from the book of the prophet, Ezekiel. The LORD promised, “O, my people! A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you…” This scripture reminded me of the familiar scripture from the Book of Revelation, “Behold. I make all things new!” All this has me wondering how the song I sing sounds to the LORD in this season of my life. My song to the LORD has many verses inspired by the passages of time and circumstances. I bet yours does, too. Recently, I wondered if the song I’m currently singing to the LORD causes him to want to hum along. And then I asked myself if the sound of my song makes others want to hum along.
Some words from Peter Kreeft came to mind as I’ve been contemplating the Scriptures this last week, “Speech not only reveals the soul; it also conditions the soul. The more you say something, the more you believe it. The more you praise something, the more you love it. The more you rail against something, the more you hate it.” Read that again. Do those few sentences cause you to pause as it has me? The saying goes, what’s down in the well comes up in the bucket. The new song I’m singing is composed of a season of spiritual healing and the release of long-held resentments and pride. I feel a lighter touch in the sound welling up within me. And I do believe the LORD and others appreciate this new song as much as I do!
What season of life do you find yourself in? What does the music of your life sound like to the LORD and to others?
The LORD wants us to sing a new song, not for the sake of change, but for the sake of increasing our awareness that his mercies are new every morning! Do you feel that your song is getting tired and sounding a bit out of tune? I feel you. Sometimes it seems too hard to do the soul work of rewriting our song, so we get accustomed to singing out of tune, so to speak. The harmony comes when we set the upbeats and downbeats of the seasons of life with the rhythm of the LORD’s song. The notes on his scale are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And in his beautiful way, he takes the crescendos and decrescendos of life to compose a new melody for us to sing. Can you hear it? Don’t you want it?
The timbre of my song comes through a little differently than it did in my 30s, 40s, and 50s. There’s a deeper texture and form because of what each season of life has given to me as it passed. What season are you in? What needs tuning in your spirit so that you can sing a new song to the LORD?
I’ve been singing this to myself lately,
My life flows on in endless song,
above earth’s lamentation.
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since the Lord is lord of heav’n and earth,
how can I keep from singing?
Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
a fountain ever springing!
All things are mine since I am his!
How can I keep from singing?
LORD and Maestro of my life, poco a poco, little by little, I’m learning your new song for me, and, you know, I like the sound of it! Thank you for your Symphony of Love that rings ever and true!
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, it is now, and ever shall be,
Song without end!