The recent uncertain weather caused me to open the door and step onto the patio to test the temperature before my morning walk. Oh yes! No jacket this morning! As I began my daily jaunt through the neighborhood, the still crisp air invigorated my spirit and my steps became more brisk. At that point, I began to observe God’s amazing handiwork. Perennials were pushing up out of dark, rich soil, leaves were bursting forth on shrubbery branches, dandelion blooms invaded every lawn… and the birds! Birds of every color were flitting from tree to tree, from rooftop to rooftop, swooping down to grab a piece of straw or a nice, fat worm… male and female working together, working hard to build nests for soon-to-be fledglings. Their industrious work ethic was amazing, but it wasn’t just their work ethic that grabbed my attention… it was the joyous spirit in which they labored. They sang from the tops of their lungs! Joyous music! Hundreds joining in together creating melodious bliss! My heart smiled! My spirit was lifted!
The melodious notes continued to play in my mind when I returned home. These birds were going about the daily grind with a song in their hearts, cheerfully fulfilling their jobs even though recent storms had threatened their very existence. I remembered a childhood song sung by Louis Armstrong:
“Yes when there’s too much to do
Don’t let it bother you
Forget your troubles
Try to be just like that cheerful chick-a-dee
Whistle while you work
Come on get smart
Tune up and start
To whistle while you work.”
Of course, the question came to mind: “Do I have a whistle in my heart?” Like the birds, I have experienced storms that derailed me for a time, and I will admit I haven’t felt like singing. But if a wind-tossed bird still has a heart to sing, then perhaps I should as well. If their songs can lift my spirit, maybe mine can lift the spirits of those around me. After all, like the cheerful chick-a-dee, there is “much to do,” and who doesn’t like melodious bliss?
Others have thought about this as well. Luther B. Bridges actually wrote a hymn about it: “There’s within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low. “Fear not I am with you, peace be still” in all of life’s ebb and flow. (Luther B. Bridges, 1910). The title of the hymn? “He keeps me singing!”