Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- Colossians 3.16
O helper of workers,/ ruler of all the good.../ I beg that me, a little man/ trembling and most wretched,/ rowing through the infinite storm/ of this age,/ Christ may draw after Him to the lofty/ most beautiful haven of life/ ...an unending holy hymn forever.
- Colum Cille, Audiutor Laborantium (Irish, 6th century)
I have a little confession to make.
Remember that Barry Manilow song, "I am music"? I loved that song.
It came out while Susie and I were living in Jackson, MS. I was in seminary, and that's a time when young people are thinking about what they want to do with their lives.
Each time I heard that song I kept thinking how unique the lyrics were. Barry Manilow is a song. His life is a song which writes all kinds of words and melodies that mean special things to different people. I recall thinking, Man, that would be a great way to think about your life.
Well, that's how Colum thought about his life, apparently. Colum lived a difficult life as a missionary, scholar, and head of a monastic community. Much of his life was like rowing through a storm.
But he never complained and he always sought to let his life be a source of encouragement for others and of praise to Christ.
His prayer, recorded here, indicates that he wanted Christ to make of his life an eternal song, one that, once he arrived in heaven, would never cease singing the praises of God.
Paul indicates that we should practice up for that great possibility here and now, by singing as often as we can of our praises and thanks to God - but I'll not rant about that here (order a copy of The Ailbe Psalter, however, so you can start getting ready for what you'll be doing forever).
We are all music, and our lives are writing songs. What kind of song are you writing? Of what does your life "sing" to the people around you? Does your life delight and invite them, making them want to "learn the tune" so they can "sing along" with your life?
Music has that special ability to engage minds, hearts, consciences, and lives in deep and significant ways. This is what God intends for all our lives.
So no matter how hard your slog here below, take a tip from Barry - and from Paul and Colum - and let your life be a song of eternal praise to God and glorious edification for those around you.
Many of you are ordering If Men Will Pray, and this encourages us to believe that God will soon be doing a great work in the lives of many men. Join us. Take on this challenge to provoke and encourage the men in your life to begin praying like they've never prayed before. Order your copy of If Men Will Pray today, and a few extras for some friends.
T. M. Moore, Principal