You and I react to calls like this, the ones embedded in the deep recesses of our mind. When recalled we respond with a programed response to do something. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I love Doo-wop music. A genre of music popular during the 1950s and 60s, it was a distinctive format which featured a high tenor singing the lead and a bass singer reciting the lyrics in the middle of the song. Doo-wop featured vocal group harmony, the critical nonsense syllables like “shoo-be-doo” or “doo-wah,” with a simple lyric and beat. Many of these songs have burrowed themselves into my mind so deeply that all it takes is a word or sound and I start Do-wopping my way through my day. What made this music so memorable? I believe it was, without a doubt, the Doo-wopping part that was key to memorability. There was a song in the early 1960s by a Doo-wop group whose name has now slipped from my memory. The bass part was a simple, nonsense lyric: “Memba, memba, rememba-memba” repeated over and over again. Take away the Doo-wop and the song was, perhaps, forgettable. With it, it became a brainworm, a call to sing it over and over again almost without the ability to stop.
You and I react to calls like this, the ones embedded in the deep recesses of our mind. When re-called we respond with a nearly programed response to do something. While simple on the one hand, it’s so very powerfully drawing on the other.
Here’s a story. In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being a monarch. He made application to Prior Richard at a local monastery, asking to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in the monastery. “Your Majesty,” said Prior Richard, “do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That will be hard because you have been a king.” “I understand,” said Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” “Then I will tell you what to do,” said Prior Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.” When King Henry died, a statement was written: “The King learned to rule by being obedient.” When we tire of our roles and responsibilities, it helps to remember God has planted us in a certain place and told us to be a good accountant or teacher or mother or father. Christ expects us to be faithful where he puts us, and when he returns, he’ll find us doing that well and as planned. (Source unknown.)
King Henry was looking for a call to overcome the Doo-wopping nature of the call he already had, the call to be a king and serve his people. It had become a sort of brainworm to him and he had convinced himself that a proper call as a Christian was less familiar, one more becoming a true disciple of Christ. He had convinced himself that a disciple is called to distinctive service involving, perhaps, a change in occupation that would allow for deeper sacrifice and closer communion with God. God establishes a natural relationship with us through where he has placed us and what he has given us to do in this life. In a sense that call will become a brainworm over time, a Doo-wopping call to work hard and do our best. One little prompting from the Spirit of God sets us to work, hopefully to do it over and over again.
We pray. Heavenly Father, you have called us to serve, to be what we are, where we are and to the best of our ability to serve. Sometimes we feel ordinary and unimportant in what we do because we do it every day, over and over again. Help us Lord to regard what we do, although familiar, with a sense of urgency and importance. Forgive us Lord when we strive to create a calling that isn’t founded in your wisdom and timing. Please keep your Holy Spirit knocking at the door of our heart with his familiar rhythm of the Word and promise of Jesus Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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