Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Moose Songs

If you are like me, there are songs that remind you of a certain time in your life. Perhaps when you hear one song it reminds you of the first dance you had with your spouse. It may remind you of a lost love, or a carefree summer in your youth. Whatever it reminds you of, those memories come rushing in like a flood when the song is played.

Many times it is not planned. Many times it is heard by chance on the radio, or maybe even over the PA system in a store. These meetings with our past sometimes take us by surprise and send us to another place and time. Music is like a time machine that can transport us in seconds to somewhere in our past.

Personally, I have a long list of such songs. Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash reminds me of singing on our hearth when I was just a child. Smokey Mountain Rain by Ronnie Milsap reminds me of the first time I ever played my guitar and sang for anyone besides my family. The hymn Because He Lives reminds me of Pelham First Baptist Church, where my family attended church during my middle school through college years.

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg by the Temptations reminds me of a moose. In fact, to my brother Ryan and me it will always be known as the “moose song”. When Ryan and I were teenagers, we went with our parents to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. If you have never been there, you should go. It is some of the most spectacular country you will ever see. It is at the foot of the Grand Teton mountain range and just south of Yellowstone National Park.

During the week we had been riding horses, whitewater rafting down the Snake River, and visiting Yellowstone. My parents had put us in a cabin by ourselves, while they enjoyed a cabin to themselves next door. (By the way, for years I thought they did this because they thought we were so mature. Now, since I have children of my own, I realize they just wanted some peace and quiet.)

One night Ryan and I were just goofing around in our cabin. We were singing Ain’t Too Proud to Beg at the top of our lungs. (Go ahead and sing it. You know you want to. “I know you want to leave me, but I refuse to let you go…”) Just as we were halfway through the first verse, a full grown bull moose stuck his huge Bullwinkle looking nose through our open window. At first it frightened us, but then we lost our breath laughing. We ran outside to get our parents, and mom got a picture of the moose running away.

In the book of Deuteronomy, God gives Moses a song to teach to the Israelites. God tells him that Israel will, in time, turn from worshipping Him and chase after other gods. However, He says this new song will endure for generations and serve as a reminder to them to remember the Lord.

God gives us a new song in our hearts when we make Him the Lord of our lives. This song may not be one that we sing out loud, but it is there to remind us of His great works and what He has done for us. Maybe if we slowed down a little and listened a little harder we might hear the song…and remember.

After taking ev'ry detour
Gettin' lost and losin' track
So that even if I wanted
I could not find my way back
After drivin' out the mem'ry
Of the way things might have been
After I'd forgotten all about us
The song remembers when
(The Song Remembers When Lyrics by Hugh Prestwood. Recorded by Trisha Yearwood)

"Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for Me against them. When I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their forefathers, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting Me and breaking My covenant. And when many disasters and difficulties come upon them, this song will testify against them, because it will not be forgotten by their descendants.
(Deuteronomy 31:19-21)

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. (Psalm 40:3)

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