Losing your Song

A couple of years ago, I was fascinated by a BBC News report about an endangered species of bird called the Regent Honeyeater which is found only in South Eastern Australia. It has a very sparse distribution over a vast area, and the male birds are now forgetting their own song, and mimicking the songs of other bird species around them. Unsurprisingly, the females of the species are not impressed, becoming uninterested in the males, and as a result the population is in steady decline. The Regent Honeyeater has always had a tendency to mimic other birds. Apparently, it does this because they want to blend into their habitat to avoid being attacked by the other birds.

So why did this news item attract my attention? As Christians living in a very secular country, I wonder whether we are in danger of losing our song? What do I mean? As our church/ home church services end on a Sunday, what “song” sustains us and fashions us for the rest of the week? I don’t mean what we might play on our CD players at home, but rather what unique “song” do we have in our hearts? Do we just mimic the worldly “songs” of those around us to avoid becoming a target, because we appear different to our neighbours? If we behave just like everyone else to avoid being verbally attacked, we risk forgetting our “song” and becoming spiritually impotent.

The news item went on to state that scientists are now taking the male Honeyeater birds temporarily into captivity, and playing recordings of their true song in the hope that they will re-learn their song, ready for release back into the wild.

The parallels with our Christian walk seemed quite clear. If we have lost, or are losing our song, we need to invest time with the Chief Scientist, our heavenly Father, immersing ourselves in the promises of scripture, and reflecting on all that God has achieved for us throughout our lives.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel…. (Psalm 98:1-3)

Like the Psalmists of old, as we spend time reviewing the “marvellous things” that God has done in our lives: His salvation (v2), His righteousness (v2); His love (v3), and His faithfulness (v3), we will learn/ re-learn the definitive “song” of the redeemed to which others around us will be attracted.

Bill Sayer