How Can I Keep From Singing?

Today I struggled with the reality that I am not preaching on a regular basis (much as I enjoy doing it… and from all reports, do a decent job.) My work as a chaplain means that I don’t get to fill a pulpit. And it means that I listen to others’ sermons (or read them) and think about what I would say about a particular passage or topic. Many times it is much different. And I grow impatient as I listen.

So this morning, I’m listing the things I am doing instead of participating in the “Preacher Party” with my RevGal friends… and trying to get my ‘tude back in order. (No more pity party! No more whining!)

– I’m baking a birthday cake for our wonderful Reedy Girl.

– I’m doing laundry. LOTS of laundry so that said Reedy Girl can go on a 2 week educational excursion, and I can go visit family.

– I’m praying for the families that I spent time with this week at the hospital. The joys. The heartaches. The unanswered questions. The losses.

– I’m praying for those who were so intoxicated that they passed out and never saw the 4th of July fireworks.

– I’m praying for a visitor to our city who found out (in the ER, of all places) that s/he probably had cancer and had to cut vacation short to go home and see the doctor.

– I’m praying for a country which can’t figure out that “caring for the least of these” might include health care. Without being snarky about it. (Ooops. Fail.)

And I’m praising the God who made me, who Called me to my life’s work, and who equips me to do it. (Yes, that’s a theme from the Friday Five yesterday…)

The song that came to mind as I started the day’s tasks was the hymn “How Can I Keep From Singing?” (Not the popular version by Chris Tomlin… the oldy-moldy one.) It lifted my spirits and gave me the umph I needed to press on. The “echo in my soul” is the love I know The Holy One has for me as I do my Life’s Work. How can I keep from singing?

Short answer. I can’t! 🙂

(Here’s one rendition by Enya.)

My life flows on in endless song above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, tho’ far-off hymn that hails a new creation;
Thro’ all the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul; how can I keep from singing?

What tho’ my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho’ the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, wow can I keep from singing?

I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin; I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths, since first I learned to love it;
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?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear, and hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile, our thoughts to them go winging;
When friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing?

One comment

  1. Hi Deb,

    “How Can I Keep from Singing?” – The music and the lyrics one of my favorites, too! I also admire your commitment to producing regular blog posts….in the midst of all your other responsibilities.

    Best wishes,


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