This is NOT what I intended to blog about when I got on the laptop this afternoon. It was going to be “Mirrors! Why did it have to be mirrors?” But then an hour of unscheduled time magically appeared in my morning after visiting a friend at the hospital while his lordship went to Sunday School. I ended up plopping my fanny down at the local Starbucks with my journal (yes, I do carry a notebook in my purse) and my favorite raspberry mocha frappucino — low fat, no whip. It was delicious. The hoarded time as well as the drink. I had 60 minutes ALL TO MYSELF before I had to be back to pick him up, and earworms are what I ended up scribbling about…
I woke up this morning with a song runnin’ through my head. That’s not unusual by any means. I seem to have a built-in jukebox that provides background music for my life no matter WHAT hour of the day or night it is. It’s quite annoying at times. There’s actually a word for that sort of thing now. It’s called an earworm.
What’s an earworm? you may ask. According to the Urban Dictionary an earworm is “A song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try (to stop it). The best way to get rid of an earworm is to replace it with another. Be prepared to become a jukebox.” It gave a few examples of earwormy-type songs, but much to my chagrin I didn’t know a single one of them!
Now it’s not uncommon for me to wake up (even in the middle of the night) humming along with a 50’s oldie like Smile by Nat King Cole, Love Letters in the Sand by Pat Boone, or a 40’s moldy oldie (I love that era) like The Five Pennies by Danny Kaye (from the movie with the same name). Thank GOD Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrews Sisters hasn’t made it to my top 10 list — yet. One of my personal favorites is Happy Trails by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. But I digress.
That was NOT the case this morning. This morning I woke up with a hymn going through my head. And a very stodgy hymn at that. It was, much to my amazement, O Master Let Me Walk With Thee. I don’t know the words. I don’t even like the tune. Yet there it was, repeating itself over and over again. I couldn’t get rid of it, even in the shower (which I’ve found effective in distracting me from the repetition). In fact, I complained about it all the way to church.
Imagine my surprise then when that very hymn was the last one in our service this morning. HL just looked at me and rolled his eyes like “she’s going to go off on a God-thing tangent again.” Well it WAS sort of odd. But I thought I knew where the niggling idea of a hymn had come from. Yesterday I had read a post on praypower4today about choosing a faith word or scripture for the new year. Something to focus on and act as a guide for your spiritual growth during 2015. So it was on my mind when I went to bed. But I wasn’t expecting God to stick a quarter in my jukebox at 6:45 this morning.
Arrogant little snot that I am, I was flattered that God would take the time to arrange that little surprise for me. I must have lit up like a Christmas tree when I saw the hymn listed in the bulletin. Oh yay! A message from God all for me! At times I’m very child-like in my faith. I was a kindergarten teacher after all. I do well with visuals. So while the prelude was being played I pulled the hymnal out to see what God had to say to me. Expecting as I was some word of wisdom or encouragement about this lingering faith crisis I’ve been going through, the fall off my own pedestal was pretty far and embarrassing. Not to mention it hurt like hell. For cryin’ out loud. It was just a prayer!
O Master, let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret; help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.
Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, winning word of love;
Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the homeward way.
Teach me Thy patience; still with Thee
In closer, dearer, company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.
In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broad’ning way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live.
Huh? Hey wait! Where’s my secret it talks about in the first verse? Isn’t that what this was all about, God imparting some special message to me? I was still puzzling over the disappointment when I left church to visit my friend. And that’s how I ended up at Starbucks scribbling my thoughts in my journal, trying to figure it all out.
I haven’t. I don’t have a fancy ending to put on this blog, something that will tie up all the ends and give this little anecdote an Aesop-like moral. Is it possible that sometimes, having groped my way through this faith fog for so long, I fail to see the forest for the trees? After all, isn’t that exactly what I was thinking about when I fell asleep? Something I could use to guide me through this new year? If I look at all my questioning on one hand and the goal of that prayer on the other, isn’t it possible God granted the unspoken prayer of my heart for the guidance I’m needing?
HL says sometimes I get too mired in the archeological pits of my life. For me, nothing can simply be what it is. Maybe he’s right. Maybe this song is really only meant to be a prayer of guidance to chant as I stumble through this dim landscape trying to find my way back to my faith path. (Chant? Believe me, you would NOT want to hear me sing!)
At any rate, the afternoon is long gone, and I still haven’t finished this post. But if I WAS expecting God to tell me something in that song, maybe I DO have my word for this new year: EXPECTANT. Perhaps this was God’s way of picking that one special tree out of the forest for me to focus on. Whether it’s through praying that song or simply continuing on with the honest struggle I’m having, I think God may be telling me that I can look toward to this new year EXPECTANTLY. That makes me feel a whole lot lighter in my spirit. I think . . . I believe something good is going to happen to me this year, and by golly I’m going to be EXPECTING it.