“Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth.” Isaiah 42:10a, ESV
At least nine times, the Scriptures tell us to sing a new song to the Lord. And as much as I love the old familiar hymns and praise choruses, there is something that stirs my soul when I hear a new song of praise to our Lord.
As educators, we are often called to “sing a new song.” This may look like teaching a new grade level, subject, or method, or moving to a new campus. Some changes are easy to embrace, and we gladly sing the new song. But others are unexpected, unwanted, or seem impossible to enact. If we sing those, it is probably as a dirge.
The book of Isaiah was written over a 40-year period during a time of great unrest in the nations of Israel and Judah. Many people boldly proclaimed ideas that were in opposition to our one true God. Idolatry was rampant. Others had simply become complacent in their worship. Isaiah warned the people to repent and turn back to God. They had to change. Isaiah shared God’s plan for His people, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, ESV)
Unfortunately, not everyone was ready to listen and change. The things the Lord had said through Isaiah did not make sense to them. They were not ready to believe because it went against their reasoning. God told them to repent anyway when He said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV)
As educators, we like our routines. Many of us have invested a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears to make our classroom sing. We know that song by heart. But sometimes God wants to do something new, and we have a choice to make. Will we learn to sing the new song, recognizing the growth that can come from learning? Or, will we ignore the opportunity or hinder God’s agenda by insisting on singing the same old song?
Heavenly Father, You know our hearts. You know how we love our comfortable routines, and how we can resist change, even when it is for our good. Lord, help us to know what You are calling us to do and give us the desire to do it with joy. Thank you for being patient with us when we are quick to resist change and slow to obey.
Copyright Diana Anderson.
Diana is a member who teaches history and art to secondary students at a Christian school in Kennewick, WA.