During my first semester at Princeton Theological Seminary, I brought my guitar to a floor meeting in Alexander Hall, my dorm. They asked me to lead a bit of singing. I played a song from my high school youth group years that always made me smile. A couple of the students laughed at the song and turned it all into a big joke. I felt hurt. (This was before I knew that a lot of ministers and future ministers are morons.) I didn’t bring my guitar again to floor meetings at Princeton. Experiences like this led me over time to close my guitar away in its case permanently. I still sang in church, of course, and I enjoyed singing in choirs. But I stopped singing for me — just me sitting with my guitar on the floor, singing praises to God. Somewhere along the way to becoming a minister I forgot to sing, as I had every day in high school and college.
This is changing now. I’ve begun pulling out my guitar and assembling my own songbook. I sit on the floor in the youth room and sing my heart out to God. I am glad, so glad, after so many years to have rediscovered this great exercise for the spirit. Singing like this is a way my spirit can link with God’s Spirit (Rom. 8:16).