New Song

Sing a new song to the LORD!
(Psalm 96:1a)

There are a couple of state parks within a half hour of where we live. This morning I was able to spend a few hours hiking, and I decided to try out a trail that I haven’t before, because the paths have been flooded for a long time. At first I was just going to head the way that I usually do, because it’s familiar and beautiful. But as I took off down the path, I decided to head a different direction.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with my usual trek. Just like an old sweater, it’s familiar, comfortable, and welcome. But doing the same thing over and over again over time…loses it’s “special.” It becomes rote. Instead of noticing things, instead of looking and seeing and hearing…you just go. You take the steps, know where to turn, know what’s around the next bend. It becomes boring. It becomes…just something you do. Even though we’re there physically, in reality, we’re not really there. Our minds are elsewhere. We just go through the motions.

The same thing can happen with our relationship with God. At first things are new, and exciting, and fresh. We keep going back down the same path again and again, each time noticing something different…for a while. Before long it becomes habit. It loses its “special.” We say the words, we sing the songs, we read the passage, but we’re not really there. Our minds are elsewhere. We just go through the motions.

“Sing a new song to the LORD.” Tradition is not bad, not in the least. It’s what provides our context, our anchor. It’s what we go back to when things get tough. But we need to change things up from time to time. We need to keep exploring. Our God is an infinite God. We can’t trap Him in verses, or actions, or, well, anything. When we sing a new song, we’re taking a different trail. We’re allowing our eyes to see, our ears to hear. It’s unfamiliar. We have to pay attention. We get to pay attention.

Father God, open our eyes, our ears, our minds, our hearts. Let us sing a new song, let us see You fresh and new, Your hands at work in different ways, Your creation through new eyes. Help us to know Your heart, and learn as You teach us.