I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
by Birdie Courtright
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Remember that song “I’d like to teach the world to sing” and the legendary Coke commercial that captured the hearts of America? Why did watching a bunch of hippies singing from a mountaintop have such mass appeal?
I think it’s because it’s where we all aspire to be. When we reach those heights—those mountain tops—life is exhilarating. We want more of it. We want to share our victories, sing out; expose the joy of life to everyone within the sound of our voice. Joy has it’s own special language; a language that erupts from the heart and spills over the lips with viral velocity. It is one of the most contagious and powerful things known to man.
Have you ever noticed how your pool of friends grows thin when you’re trying to hike up those treacherous slopes, experiencing all the set backs and the failures inherent in the climb? It’s frightening to be stuck in the ravine without a rope, nor a friend when you hit an impasse. We give voice to the struggle, shouting against the frustration as though our disgruntled “uggghhh” will move it. Truth be known; all it does is move our friends quickly the opposite direction. Very few people will stick close during your trials. Crowds will gather for your victories.
What’s up with that? Aren’t friends supposed to stick with you through thick and thin? My guess is that it has more to do with how we express ourselves during the ‘thin’ moments of our life than the actual loyalty of our friends.
Years ago, as a young wife and mother, a Titus 2 woman took me under her wing. As I shared my most distressing moments with her, her advice was always the same. Sing. Sing praises to God. Thank him through your trials—wake up happy, go to sleep happy. Don’t let the business of living steal your joy. Joy? In the midst of trial? Sing? Be happy? Stuck on the side of an unconquered slope with no provisions or company, you want me to sing. Have you ever heard me sing? Sing I did.
I learned the power of Joy very quickly. I learned that I have control over how I respond on the slopes. I didn’t need the people climbing below me to throw me a rope so I could make my way back to safety. I needed just one person climbing above me who knew the terrain well enough to tell me how to find my out of the ravine.
What is our model for joy in the midst of life’s worst moments? God Himself, chooses to lead by example:
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 KJV
The one who created me, joys over me with singing? Surely not, in the midst of my mess…how can that be? While I cling to the desolate ridges, inching my way along crevices where hand and footholds are far and few between—crouching in shallow caves against fierce winds and trying lesser known foot paths in desperation, hoping to avoid the death of my soul while traversing the perils of life—He rests in His love for me? Would my Father choose rest while I perish?
Of course He would! You see, He is mighty—He saves! He can joy over me with singing; my salvation arrived long before I ever encountered my own personal mountains. I will never perish—no matter how desolate the journey becomes. My only destination is transformation. Transformed into the likeness of Christ; death is not an option; I cannot digress from here. My legacy is assured—my voice will be heard as I sing from the mountaintops, even though I find myself crouching in a ravine, because the LORD sings with me.
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You will rejoice over me with singing...my favorite verse in the bible. If you haven't heard Bethany Dillon sing this song I would urge you to check it out. The chorus played in my head as read this piece. I've been known to say that our greatest joys are a direct result of our greatest trials. Knowing that our God is singing over us always...guiding us over the mountain and through the valley. Great encouragement. Oh and don't worry about your singing. The bible says to make a joyful noise :D I'm sure you sound lovely to Him.