I woke up this morning typing another article entirely, and I heard a child singing what was a song we regularly sang in the children’s Bible club. The lyrics of the song are “In the Morning/early in the morning/in the morning…I will rise and praise the Lord”. I smiled, because it brought back an avalanche of memories in that four or five second period, when I joined in the song muttering the lyrics to myself, I noticed that what the child was singing went thus: “In the morning/early in the morning/in the morning…I will never praise the Lord”. It was mildly amusing but also threw my mind in another direction.
An incident happened about four years ago, which I’m certain I’d never forget. I was singing a song “You are more than life to me /O Lord my God”, and a very dear friend, ‘Rowy Omoyibo said (I can’t remember his words exactly) “but that sing doesn’t reflect in your actions, the way you lead your life shows that the world is more important than God to you”. But I remember somewhere in that heavenly inspired reprimand was ‘YOU MEAN AM’?
I was shocked, I bet my self-defence instinct may have wanted to kick in and retort with a wise-crack or something to deflect the devastating impact of what he said, but nothing happened, I stood there transfixed, standing in front of (University of Benin) Hall 3 Block C room 409, I couldn’t find the words, I just went back to doing the dishes (I think that was what I was doing).
Since then, I began to pay more attention to the lyrics of the songs. When I notice that the lyrics of the song do not reflect the current state of my heart, or my physical reality, I either turn it to a prayer, or a confession. A few weeks ago, during a service, the music minister got the whole place ‘on fire’ with “We go dey hail/hail your name/day by day all the way/all the way../”. I had gotten into the groove, when I the gentle whisper dropped the message in my spirit that I interpreted as “really? You will? Every day? All the way?” I literally froze, and it has become a prayer/confession whenever I get to sing it.
During ‘praise and worship’, I think a number of people are just ‘carried away’ by the emotional feeling, but we can be even more intentional, paying attention to the lyrics of songs, it will result in a richer, much deeper experience. Like that young man, and my younger self, let not the beats of the songs or the melody, or the fact that it sounds nice deny us of paying attention to the message God wants to pass to us, because
Songs too are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the people of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.