I just signed up for one of those all-intelligent GPS apps on my cell phone because Bill and I are on a road trip, and this thing promised everything, including the moon! I followed its yellow brick road all the way through the inquisition this faceless entity in Silicon Valley dreamed up, demanding codes and credit card numbers and my grandmother’s maiden name. In much less time than all this took, I received an email telling me that I had, indeed, been charged for the device.
The only problem was in setting it up. I chose every option on every instruction and could find no place to reset “home.” Someone at software Oz-land had set “home” to be in Santa Cruz, California. No matter what destination I set, the directions were always from a home base that was never mine. As a result, all the directions the lady genie-in-a-jug gave with that I-know-more-than-you-do certainty in her voice were about 1300 miles off. Oh, the directions claimed to be headed for our destination in the wondrous lake country of Michigan, but they were starting from a place that was never home and would take me back to a place that never would be home.
I want a homing device that will take me home. I want one that when I am lost or on the wrong road will keep saying, “Recalibrating. Recalibrating.” And even when I think I know what I’m doing and where I’m going and oh, so confidently take a shortcut, I want a device that will insistently not let me off the hook until I am back on course and heading home.
A good navigational app is accurate because the chip implanted in it is constantly receiving clear signals from a satellite that can pinpoint where the person holding it is anywhere on the planet. It tells me exactly where I am on the map.
There are a lot of metaphors for the written Word of God: a light for my path, a roadmap, a sword to fend off enemies, a guide on the trail of life. But the greatest thing about the written Word of God is that it is the signal received from the Logos, the Word that is the Source of all things.
If I “hide the Word in my heart,” if I “eat the Word,” if I internalize it and make it a part of my very being, I am carrying always the “chip” tuned to the signal from above and beyond that can trace my journey, and always, no matter how far I wander, bring me safely home — home to myself, home to the True North, home to the First Cause of all things — home to my God.
Hymns And Gospel Songs: Why We Need Them
The other kind of song we need to sing together is the gospel song. These songs are horizontal — they are our story. We should balance hymns and personal testimony songs in our gathering together … because every vertical commitment will eventually demand a horizontal living out in relationship with those around us.
So we need to sing the songs that have outlived us. We need to sing songs as new and fresh as this morning’s experience with our neighbor or our children. We need the songs that remind us we have a history with God. We need the songs that sing our testimony as personal as the email of encouragement we just received from a fellow believer. Let’s encourage each other daily, singing hymns and spiritual songs.