I was eight years old when I sang my first and last solo at church, singing “In the Garden,” my favorite old hymn. In junior high and high school, I played clarinet and bassoon, but I never developed a great love for music.Perhaps my first day in the marching band had something to do with that. I forgot to turn and was twenty yards down the football field in the wrong direction before I realized that I was alone. The announcer’s comment added to my fame.
In my early adult years in church choirs and as a worship leader, my thrill was in the messages, not so much in the tunes. That’s even more true now, since my vocal chords have aged much faster than the rest of my body. I’m good for speaking, not singing.
For me, the melody is merely the means to carry what’s most important: the message.