At one time, in my younger days, I had a pretty good voice when it came to Singing. Nothing outstanding but it wasn’t too bad. I even sang in the church choir for a while and really loved it when hymns were sung in church. Over the years, that “pretty good voice” has taken a trip. Probably too much time spent out in the fields and breathing in too much dust. It’s as good of an excuse as any.
As a youth, I was more critical of those singing around me and it really bugged me when someone couldn’t carry a tune during hymn singing. Thankfully it didn’t take me too terribly long to realize that when the Word says “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”, it didn’t say anything about the noise coming out of our mouths wasn’t as important as what was coming out of our hearts.
I remember on revival we went to where this old man sitting next to our family could not carry a tune in a syrup bucket, but it was obvious that he loved to sing, even if it was off-key! To top this off, he was bad about "Amening" the preacher. Services had degenerated into an "undignified" assembly because of the old man. He simply got too involved in the "goings on" and forgot himself.
Four of the more well-to-do folks at the revival decided that this old fellow was just too crude for the congregation. They appointed themselves as the ones to go and talk to the old man later that day.
When they arrived at the old fellow's house, he was in the field plowing with his old mule. Though it was beneath their dignity, they finally walked out through the dusty ground which soiled their fine clothes to talk to the old timer. "Brother Jones," they began, "we want to talk to you about your singing. Not meaning any offense, but you just cannot sing. We wish you would try not to sing so loud because frankly, your singing ruins our services!"
"I am sorry," the old fellow replied, "but it is just that when I look at these old clothes that I wear and then I think of them robes that God has for me, I just cannot help singing. And when I see that old shack over yonder that I live in and realize that it is liable to fall any time, and then I think about the beautiful palace that God has for me, I just have to sing praises to my Lord. You fellers see this old hat I got on? Well, when I see that crown in my mind that God has for me, I just have to yell that wonderful name of Jesus at the top of my lungs!"
"As a matter of fact," he said, "would one of you fellers mind holding my mule? I feel like singing now."
They left him right there, singing away in the field! And as these four men left the old fellow out there singing they viewed him in a different light. One said to the rest, "You know, his singing is not really all that bad." Another said, "I never really realized how sweet his voice really is." The third said, "I just hope that God will allow me to sing in the same group that he sings in."
Now there are several lessons in this story. Possibly the reason these men had never really seen things in their true light before was that the world was just too much with them. I wonder if the reason that we have difficulty sometimes appreciating the things that God has reserved for us in heaven is that the world is just too much with us, too. (Amen!)