Earlier today, I posted a stinkbomb of a Tweet.
I don’t remember the exact phrasing, and I’ve since deleted it from both Facebook and Twitter I can’t look it up. But it went something like this:
‘I just bought 50 ‘Choruses & Hymns’ on iTunes, and it only contains 12 stinkbombs. That means I got 26 good songs for free!’
Believe it or not, I meant this to be an endorsement, and I meant no real disparagement to the dozen or so ‘stinkbombs.’
But with the 20/20 goggles of Hindsight, I realized how ugly my words were about 30 minutes ago and deleted them and issued a quickie apology on these two social network sites. But it occurs to me that this action isn’t quite sufficient. Hence this post.
You see, I’m generally not much for hymns. I love modern worship music, but hymns are for old people, and for much of my youth I found their clumsy, archaic language and far-too-frequent chord changes (said I) to be a hindrance, not a help, in my efforts to connect with God.
But in the last few months, my icy heart has begun to melt on this point. At the Fall Cursillo in Qu’appelle, Saskatchewan, we sang quite a number of hymns and they really spoke to me, musically and spiritually. I realized that I’d been throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
And with an opportunity in front of me to lead the music team at the spring Calgary Cursillo, I seized the chance to familiarize and immerse myself in hymnal worship music.
So I sought out a few songs I knew on iTunes and came across this album. It features a number of Christian rock artists who regularly find their way into my playlists – Robin Mark and Stuart Townend, to name a couple – so I thought I’d pick up all 50 tracks, for the price of a dozen iTunes songs individually.
But I did so with some trepidation.
I was afraid of disliking most of the songs – the word ‘hymn’ is in the album title, after all. But to my surprise, most of them are fantastic additions to my iTunes library. A few are take-em-or-leave-ems and, yes, there are some that are not my cup of tea. About a dozen. Overall, a great find. Track by track, percentage-wise, it ranks up there for me with any Chris Tomlin, Downhere or Barlowgirl album I have.
I highly recommend this album. It’s a bargain.
I like it so much that I wanted to share this find with all of my fellow hymnists – people who look down our noses at hymns and those ‘chorusy,’ NedFlandersian modern worship songs from the ’70s and early ’80s.
I had a feeling I wasn’t the only one throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And I wanted to employ my trademark Petkauian wit as I did so. And, reluctantly, I have to admit that I’m a little like that kid with a moped – the infamous pedal bike with a motor, or motorbike with pedals that’s fun to ride, unless your friends are watching.
I wanted to proclaim that I’m a hymnist no more, but I was afraid that other hymnists wouldn’t like me no more.
With a few hours’ perspective, I realized how ridiculous this was, and how insulting my stinkbomb Tweet was to people who love hymns – and to Jesus – and that I need to confess it and own up to my immaturity.
Chances are, nobody’s judging me for liking some hymns, and if they are, that’s their problem, not mine.
All things considered, I’d rather be Ned Flanders than Homer Simpson.
‘Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.’ – Luke 9:26 (NIV)
I’m sorry, Jesus.
I’m sorry, friends.
Peace be with you.
- My iTunes Library