How Great Indeed!

12/5
((from Natalie))

Do you have a list of dreams that start with something like “If I had a million dollars… ?”

Top of my list, I kid you not… if I was swimming in gold coins like Scrooge McDuck – ya’ll, I would hire my very own personal gospel choir to follow me around and sing during an ordinary, average, day-in-the-life of me.  (I know, I’m selfish and extravagant.)

Seriously. It would be AMAZING, wouldn’t it!? Let’s imagine it together: maybe two dozen gifted songbirds in matching choir robes all packed into my little living room swaying while they’re melodic voices spread throughout my house as I emerge pajama-clad from the kitchen with my coffee mug.
That would start the day off right, wouldn’t it?

It’s an expensive dream because of the logistics.  I know I would need specific things to accommodate these kind folks as they provide the soundtrack to my epic day.  For example, an open-air trailer (to pull behind my minivan) seems practical. I would take them along, parade-style, to harmonize during my daily errands. They would collect at the base of the schoolyard hill and lift their hands as I pick my kids up from school. I envision them clapping and dancing along when I fold the towels back home. Perhaps an angelic soloist would crescendo as I stir the macaroni and cheese. Dang. This is getting good…

I would leave discretion over the set list for the day to the choir director and the Holy Spirit. I’m sure their song choices would be ‘on point.’ However, I would make just one request. For this dream to be optimally fulfilled (and since I don’t live near the Rocky Mountains for my mountaintop moment) I would NEED there to be a big, late-afternoon storm (one that I can watch roll through from my front porch). The mighty choral zenith of the day would come as my private gospel choir sings into the post-storm calm:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Mmmm.. yes Lord! So good! Come to think of it, if budget allows and the choir would want to invite a guest artist to sing ‘How Great Thou Art’, I am happy to preapprove and entrust Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, or Elvis Presley as they have all ‘nailed it’ in the past.

Hopers – I joke, but thank God for hymns, right?!  Nothing can send the soul soaring quite like a well-timed hymn that somehow synchronizes to the hope in our hearts.

I saw a quote once that I think perfectly sums up the gift that God gave us in music:

“Music is the best means we have of digesting time.” –W.H. Auden

I’m so glad God collaborated with a Swedish guy named Carl way back in 1885.  Together, they gave us the gift of “How Great Thou Art.” It was a song born from a poem written after a great storm.  The ol’ online history books inform us that:

“The author, Carl Boberg himself gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:

It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest colouring; the birds were singing in trees and everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon there was thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.

When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of “When eternity’s clock calls my saved soul to its Sabbath rest”. That evening, I wrote the song, ‘O Store Gud.'”

Hopers, let us sing as we digest time together! The Bible shows us music was used in both times of mourning and celebration.  Even Jesus Himself sang a hymn with his disciples after the last supper. So surely, I think God wants our souls set to music. It’s as if there’s a calibration of the heart that happens when a soundtrack is played. We feel the depth of “awesome wonder”, the rooting of “humble adoration”, and the power of just How Great He Is.

Maybe you’re in the midst of a great storm today. Maybe something came out-of-nowhere and took you by surprise. Keep singing! When the sky clears again, perhaps something GREAT will be birthed.

Also, let it hereby be written: If I don’t get my rented “gospel choir for a day” dream fulfilled on this side of eternity, please play “How Great Thou Art” in mourning and celebration at my funeral. Please and Thank you.

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