This is a wonderful sentiment by the late Maya Angelou…
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
One has but to walk outdoors on a sunny day and listen to the sound of a chorus of birds to understand this thought. Even in the captivity of a small cage, a bird still has the ability to find its song. A friend once told me about taking a walk one day, and feeling the Spirit of God encouraging him to sing… to lift up a new song to Him as he strolled in God’s cathedral, the Great Outdoors. As he walked and began to sing, he noticed something interesting began to happen. He noticed the sound of creation getting louder and louder. As he found his song, creation itself joined in the chorus, and the birds in the numerous trees about him began to lift up their voices as well. After a time, he said he stopped singing, and something uncanny happened…
Many of the birds stopped singing as well, and the sound of creation slowly died away.
In Luke 19, we find this story…
Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
We are all given a song. For some, that song is sung in the midst of gratitude and thanksgiving; a song of grateful worship to God for His goodness and favor.
But for others, that song may be sung from a place of hardship and pain.
How do you sing for joy when you are watching a loved one slowly slip away because of Alzheimer’s Disease or ALS?
How do you sing with gladness when the diagnosis is cancer?
How do you worship when you are a parent standing over the grave of a child gone too early?
We sing, not because we have the answer, but because we have a song. We worship, not because we are good, but because He is Holy. We seek out His presence, not as an escape from the world we are in, but as a place of safety and refuge for our souls while we are on the journey through this life.
An interesting thing about dementia patients is, even as they are losing their ability to remember friends and family members — as well as their ability to even talk — many still have the ability to recognize songs and sing or hum a tune.
There is something about the language of music that speaks to all of us on a spiritual level. We are all made for worship. God has put His song into our DNA, and pursuing an intimate relationship with Him in worship is the first step to finding your song. The Psalmist wrote…
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. ~ Psalm 104:33
He was determined to worship as long as he had breath in his lungs; no qualifier, no expectation.
Maybe when we get to the point of unconditional worship — when we are singing our song, not because we have an answer, but because we have a God-given song — we’ll find that, in that obedience, we will find the answers we are looking for in His presence.
It could also be that, by spending time in His presence, we’ll discover that knowing the answers will become less important than knowing Him.