My third grade teacher was a frustrated music major. All year long she tried to turn us into a children’s chorus. The pressure was on. If you wanted good grades, you had to sing well, smile and learn the steps to her choreography. Having grown up in the church, singing was easy. Without my front teeth, smiling was a bit more challenging but I never could get the dance steps down.
Be that as it may, I found myself standing with the chorus as Mrs. French was making her final selections of the members for her choir. I was sweating bullets! She conducted with both hands, mouthing the words and listening to us. When she found someone who didn’t quite fit in, she would look at them, grimace and then jerk her head. You were out and had to sit at your desk with the other rejects. I sang with all my heart. “Buffalo girls won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight come out tonight!” (What is a “buffalo girl” anyway?)
Then she was looking at me! My stomach was turning flip-flops. I couldn’t escape her gaze. Suddenly I came upon a brilliant plan. Instead of taking a chance on singing the wrong note, I just wouldn’t sing at all! I could mouth the words and pretend to sing. It was brilliant. I was lip-synching before lip-synching was cool! Now I was truly smiling but Mrs. French cocked her ear and then looked directly at me. I was busted. She jerked her head and I took my seat. The shame, the guilt was overwhelming. Never again would I sing with the chorus.
It reminds me of a story Jesus told about three men who were entrusted with sums of money. The first two invested their trust wisely and made a profit for their master but the third man was so afraid, he didn’t even deposit the money in the bank to draw a tiny amount of interest.
Have you ever let fear keep you from trying? How many Christians are content to simply “lip-synch” their faith by putting their time in sitting on something called a “pew” rather than boldly participating in the greatest adventure of their life?
Stop lip-synching your faith and start to sing!