Most of us like parties. Who doesn’t enjoy a good birthday party, graduation party, neighborhood party, or a Super Bowl Party? In college towns all across America, Saturdays in the fall season are filled with two very important events – the home football game, and to many people, more importantly, tailgating. In Columbus, Ohio, when The Ohio State Buckeyes play in their home stadium “The Shoe” over 105,000 fans fill the stadium while tens of thousands more remain outside partying, listening to “Hang On Sloopy” (the unofficial fight song of the Buckeyes and the official rock song of both OSU and the State of Ohio) and watching the football game on big screen televisions or listening to it on the radio. Not only that, two hours before kickoff, over 10,000 people cram into St. John Arena for the Skull Session, which is nothing more than the OSU Marching Band’s final rehearsal for their game day music.
Parties are supposed to be fun and joyous events, and most are. But many of us also go to another kind of party. When we feel burdened, sad, heavy hearted, frustrated, discouraged, dejected, or disappointed, we often go our own party. Let’s just call this party what it is, a pity party. We wonder “Why me?” or “Woe is me” and we spend excessive amounts of time and energy feeling sorry for ourselves and whining about how unfair life is. These kinds of parties rarely (if ever) fix anything, they only tend to spiral us down even more.
Today we propose a third kind of party. This party can happen when you find yourself “on top of the mountain” and when you find yourself “down in the dumps.” Let’s call this party a singing party. We think that you will agree, when we sing, or hear others singing, we find it hard to be anything less than joyful and happy. I (Dave) am sure the people around me have a different thought as they hear me singing. They probably wonder what that terrible noise is! Just ask Robyn, I am that crazy guy with headphones singing a little too loudly while working out on the elliptical machine at the gym. Singing is often therapeutic; singing tends to soothe our souls.
And the Bible seems to put a high value on singing too. In the NIV Bible there are over 175 references to “sing” or “singing.” In Psalms alone, there are close to 70 references. Let us give you just four verses: Psalm 13:6, I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me; Psalm 57:7, My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music; Psalm 96:1, Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth, and Psalm 100:2, Serve the Lord with gladness; Come to him with joyful singing.
Today we encourage you to try this singing party too. Just be prepared, people will look strangely upon you as you walk through the aisle at the grocery store singing your favorite song. In fact, you might even hear over the intercom, “Manager needed in Aisle 4.” But just keep singing. Singing is contagious and often others begin to “sing” with you. Singing probably won’t change the situation, but it will surely change your outlook. And remember, behind the clouds is always a brightly shining sun!
Grammy Award winning jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald said this about singing, “The only thing better than singing is more singing.”