(Are there some songs that never get old for you? You can listen to them over and over again, even after you've just listened to them, and you still enjoy them? When they also make you think about interesting and important stuff, you get the kinds of songs I'm talking about in this series of blog posts.)
I had a dream last night that I was driving a huge double-trailer truck through the countryside somewhere in Africa (probably Uganda because that's where I've visited and where my missionary friend Ryan Vance lives). I took my eyes off the road for a moment for no good reason, lost control of the truck, and watched helplessly in horror as the truck careened through a village and struck numerous people, including children. When it finally came to rest, I could hear the wails of pain and grief from behind me and then could see an angry mob of men approaching through my mirror, presumably to inflict the kind of tribal justice that I've heard about from my missionary friend. Then I woke up.
It occurred to me in the aftermath that when we drive any vehicle we are all just a moment away from hurting or killing someone through our own negligence, and I thought about how thankful I should be that such a thing has not happened to me in reality. It's certainly not because I never take my eyes off the road to fiddle with my phone or stereo or whatever, so I definitely don't deserve to be spared from such a fate. In other words, it reminded me that only God's mercy has prevented me from so many consequences I could have suffered, and God's mercy is my only hope for the future.
It made me think of one of the songs I often sing to God during my prayer time (usually early in the "rotation"). It's called "At Your Mercy" and it's not a favorite because of the quality of the song (the vocals are certainly nothing to write home about:), but because it means so much to me after singing it to God thousands of times over the years. If you listen to it and can put up with the sparse instruments and amateur singing, maybe it will be a blessing to you. But even if not, the lyrics below should be, because they are all from Scripture and especially echo the famous phrase in Lamentations 3:23 that God's mercies are "new every morning." I usually think of that verse in positive terms as a promise that God will provide for us all we need every day even though we don't deserve it, but my dream made me think about it in a different way: Every day we should be grateful that we have not received the judgment and punishment we deserve for our sins.
I’m at Your mercy, oh Lord
Nothing in my hands I bring
Only to the cross I cling
I’m at Your mercy, oh Lord
Amazing grace—how can it be?
To save a wretch like me
Lord, You turned my world around and upside down
I was blind, but now I see
And I’m dependent on the life you make in me
Lord, You lifted me from the valley to the mount
I was going, Lord, I was gone
And now I need Your strength to carry on
If you could stand some more minimilistic (but meaningful) amateurism, here is another short song I sing to the Lord in my prayer times...