Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6. (NIV)
In Grade six I auditioned for the school choir. Arriving with a group of fellow students I took a place in the back row of the choir stall and began to sing. I was having a great time when, part way through the song, the teacher frowned with consternation. Something was distressing her. She stopped the singing and said that someone was out of tune. We all looked at each other, wondering who it could be.
The singing resumed as the teacher tried to identify the “culprit.” It didn’t take long. At the end of the song she said, “It seems to be coming from one of you five,” and pointed in my direction. “Boy, she’s got a good ear,” I thought, as I’d been wondering if the boy alongside me was singing flat.
A process of elimination followed. Each boy had to sing solo. After the first two had sung, it was the turn of the boy next to me. Much to my surprise, he came through with flying colours. I was next. I started confidently, but as I looked into the teachers eyes I could see she wasn’t impressed. The rest is a bit of a blur. She told me singing wasn’t my forte and suggested tennis as an alternative. I went home angry and despondent.
There was another incident when I was a teenager. While attending a church service with my Welsh friend, David Evans, he turned to me during the singing of a hymn and said, “Will you be quiet, you’re putting me off!” The only thing that stopped me from punching him on the nose was the knowledge that I was a better rugby player! When all was said and done, rugby was all that really mattered!
A year later I was saved. One of my first prayers was to ask God to help me sing. He answered my prayer.
Now I sing every day. There’s no holding me back. I sing in the car, the shower, and when I’m out shopping. I sing during daily devotions, while I’m working on the computer, and in the hot-tub. As far as I’m concerned, any time is a good time to sing. It’s not just something I do at a Sunday service or at special appointed times.
I’m in good company. The psalmist says it’s “good to praise the Lord and make music to (His) name” (cf. Psalm 92:1). Paul agrees. In Ephesians 5:19 he tells us to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”
So never mind how beautiful or pitiful you may sound. Sing out! “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” Psalm 150:6. For it’s all about singing to an audience of One.