My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. (Psalm 108:1.)
What does it take to sing, or to do something – anything – with all my soul? Is that even possible? I used to think I could sing a song with all my soul. Now, I’m not so sure. I know from experience that to sing (or do anything) with all my soul, I not only have to bring a lot to that song, I also have to leave a lot of my non-soul baggage behind.
I used to think doing something with all my soul could be measured by sheer intensity. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people do things intensely but, alas, few made me believe they were doing what they were doing with all their soul. No, I think the first element is not mere intensity, but commitment. Two bits of wisdom come to mind. The first is an old Chinese proverb that says, “You cannot cross a chasm in two leaps.” The other is an old Okie proverb that says, “In a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.” If I’m going to make music with all my soul, I will have to commit.
Go whole hog, so to speak.
Hold nothing back.
Play it like I mean it.
Dance like nobody is watching (since much of the baggage I have to leave behind is caring how it looks to others).
Or sing like nobody is listening -- and what if they aren’t? Do I need someone to hear my song in order to make music with all my soul? I don’t think someone has to hear it; it seems like it should be enough just to sing it with all my soul. Granted, it’s unlikely I could muster “all my soul” when singing in the shower, but what about under the stars, in a high mountain valley? I doubt that the psalmist was singing that song for his fans.
And what if someone is listening? I think they will hear it and know that I have made that song with all my soul, and they will believe my song.
What if I wrote a song that made someone say:
“…every one of them words rang true,
and glowed like a burning coal,
Pouring off of every page,
Like it was written in my soul …”
Is there anything stopping me from making such music today?