I heard a song today on that good old theological station called Willie’s Roadhouse. The song “Old Violin” was sung by Donny Young, more commonly known as Johnny Paycheck. I had never really listened to the lyrics closely but for some reason I did this time and it was quite depressing. “Well, I can’t recall, one time in my life, I’ve felt as lonely as I do tonight. I feel like I could lay down and get up no more; it’s the damndest feelin’, I never felt it before. Tonight I feel like an old violin, soon to be put away and never played again; Don’t ask me why I feel like this, hell, I can’t say, I only wish this feelin’ would just go away…”
“I have on my table a violin string,” wrote the author Rabindranath Tagore. “It is free to move in any direction I like. If I twist one end it responds, it is free. But it is not free to sing. So, I take it and fix it to my violin. I bind it and when it is bound, it is free for the first time to sing.”
“In the same way that the violin string comes alive when it is bound tight to the violin, so we come alive in Christ. Jesus has always been the great liberator of people. Just look at how He was with every person He encountered on earth. Whether we are like the Samaritan lady, the tax collector, or the fishermen, when we bind tight to Him, He sets us free.
That’s why Jesus asked people who they said He was. He wasn’t simply curious about whether they recognized Him or not. His question went right to the heart of the matter. Were they willing to bind themselves to Him to find their freedom?” (Bear Grylls, Soul Fuel)
“Come follow me,” Jesus said. (Matthew 4:19) He’s still inviting us to live like this – twined close to Him.
“It takes courage to understand that our sense of worth is not based on what we do, what we look like, or what others think about us. But it is the start of enlightenment. But as Paul said, choosing to orient our lives around Jesus is a risk worth taking.
“Keep you eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).
By Jesus’ side is where true freedom has always been found.” (Bear Grylls)
As I listened to Johnny Paycheck sing “Old Violin,” I wanted to tell him to cheer up. I wanted to tell him that that feeling would go away if he let Jesus into his life. However, this is true for al of us. Maybe we should all start singing:
Why should I feel discouraged, Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely, And long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion, A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow, And I know he watches me
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free.
God bless and God’s got this!