If every post I make starts with a song lyric, some are going to start wondering if I ever have an original thought of my own. *grin* I assure you, I do. Although, honestly, I can't remember what the last one was. (OK - sometimes I crack myself up - and its my blog, so that's enough for me.)
Anyway, I was enjoying some quiet time this morning with a cup of tea before showering for work. And on the radio is that great song by - is it Casting Crowns? "Let my Lifesong sing to You." Let the words I say and the things I do make my Lifesong ...bring a smile to You. There's some really powerful stuff in that sentiment.
What sacrafice do I really have to offer? "Rend your hearts, not your garments." I can go to seminary, become the best priest of my generation, celebrate beautiful mass, always live perfectly within my vows. And yet, what kind of sacrifice would that be to the God of all creation? The God who, above all things, in all things, source of all things, chooses to know who I am, chooses to call me into life, ransom me from my shortcomings, and bring me into His very presence. Is a life of motions, actions, and piety alone a sacrifice worthy of such a God?
The song's beginning is what always catches me - helps me to step outside myself and look back at me - and calls me forward into trying to focus on BEing as my offering to God, as opposed to merely DOing. It begins, "Empty hands held high, such a small sacrifice. If not joined with my life, I sing in vain tonight."
This is what has the power to keep all my DOing from being in vain. I can hold my hands high, empty sitting in the pew at mass, or holding the Chalice as one ordained at the altar. But, 'if not joined with my life, I sing in vain tonight.'
My life as a song, a song that I try my best to sing to God Himself. You know - I've always been a fan of music. As soon as we could play the recorder at school and choose to play in the band or the orchestra -- I signed up to play in BOTH. And was singing in the chorus. (Although, to hear me sing now, you'd never believe that.) I never became a talented musician, but playing a low brass instrument for 8 years or more made me a passable player.
But, boy - there were times when I know I must have stunk to the heavens. Bomp - Bomp - Bombom SPALT. (A fourth grader practicing very basic music on a baritone can sound a lot frumpy, and be very annoying on the ears.) Sure, sometimes I'd hit a note right. And, over time with lots of practice, I could play a song. By the time I hit high school, I could even march and play at the same time - and together with my friends, we could play a song that would bring a smile to your face.
My mom & dad & grammaw were there for all of it. They heard the Bombom SPLATs. They smiled though the elementary school renditions of Star Wars that clunked along to an unfeeling metronome tempo. They traveled with the band in high school, cheering, lifting, even dressing up as California Raisins to help raise money for us while we were playing. (Don't ask....) My guess is that, even when we hit those bad notes, even when our song wasn't so good, even when trying was the best we could do, there was something pleasing about the song...
I can only hope, as I Bombom SPLAT my way through trying to offer a Lifesong that's pleasing, the effort is an offering to God that brings the same kind of smile to His face.
Let my Lifesong sing to You...