A couple weeks ago, Sister Sholly from our church passed away. This has sent me into moments of reflecting (mixed with urgency as I realize that we are not replacing these older ones!).
She didn’t give long testimonies. Usually, she just gave a few simple words. The most common phrase that she would say when she would testify was, “I just want to keep in step with Jesus.”
So simple and unassuming, like her personality, and yet…so powerful!
I want to keep in step with Jesus.
I have enough rhythm in me that keeping in step the way that Professor Garen Wolf wanted us to at God’s Bible School commencement made sense. Professor Wolf gave all of us one easy lesson on how to do our feet, and I could do the graduation march the way he wanted.
Some people never could get it. They could not feel it. They could not keep step.
I have seen some graduation marches led by administration who did not have beat at all. They did not even attempt to do the Pomp and Circumstance that way.
Beat and tempo matter to me. I may not always get it right, but they matter! If it does not matter to you, then you will not understand why I want to escape at Christmas time if the piano player plays “Joy to the World” at a very slow tempo. (It bothers my nerves the same way that clicking a pen off and on 1,000 times in a row does!)
I want to keep in step! But I am guilty sometimes of not keeping in step with God.
It’s my personality to just head off fast in stores and hope that my children are following. (Maybe that’s why some of them have had bad dreams that they are trying to keep up with me and can’t!)
I don’t want to be off on my own beat, hearing my own music in my head, unless the music I’m hearing is God’s music!
Have you ever tried to write words to a song while another song was being played? I find it almost impossible. Competing tunes are so difficult!
One of the most unforgettable days of my childhood was the time that a teenage neighbor got some sort of karaoke or microphone. At the time, we couldn’t figure out what was going on. My sister Mary Anne and I were inside our house when the most horrible sound was going through the neighborhood. I’m not sure that we even identified the sound as music. We ran out of the house and followed the noise. There we heard our neighbor belting out (with a speech impediment and without a tune) country tunes. She was wearing headphones. She could hear the country artist in her ears, but we couldn’t. What was being broadcast throughout the neighborhood was foreign noise!
It seems to me that the spirit of this age and the world is playing very loud music right now. Like Buddy Green said, “I’ll close my ears to its siren song. By praising His name, I’m not ashamed, and I don’t belong.”
I want to keep in step with Jesus. Keeping in step is not lagging behind. It’s not running ahead. It’s keeping in time. It’s hearing His music in our ear.
William D. Longstaff wrote:
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.