Young Life Songs

I’ve had Young Life songs in my head the past few days. You know, the ones from a long, long, long time ago, from a galaxy far, far away…

I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me…

Blindman stood by the road and he cried…

He, He, He, He’s alive (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap)…

Take me home, country roads…

One Tin Soldier rides away…

Seek ye first the kingdom of God…

Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord…

Jesus is the light, He’s the light of the world (clap-clap-clap)…

It only takes a spark…

Sing alleluia to the Lord…

Two for Paul and (Huh!) Silas; one for the little bitty (huh!) baby…

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I’m not sure why they’re running around in my musical brain, but I can’t seem to eradicate them. Perhaps the Lord is bringing me back. I’ve been kicking the idea around of writing a spiritual memoir, so these memories make sense, in a weird sort of way. I’m a child of the 80s. My children roll their collective eyes when we force them to listen to Tears for Fears or The Police or Thompson Twins, though they love U2, like the little emergent folk they are. My Young Life songs are completely different memories from the Young Life songs of the 2000s. They’re probably singing Jars of Clay and Switchfoot (which is so very cool).

But I sang those folksy songs and loved them. I met Jesus in the pages of the well-worn brown Young Life songbook. I remember singing “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord,” not having a clue what the word HUMBLE meant. I had honestly never heard it. But I liked the way the haunting melody made me nearly cry each time I echoed.

I remember hearing about Jesus from the Young Life leader, my heart pounding in my chest. I had never heard anything like it. Jesus? The God-man who had the power to calm the seas and heal the sick? Did He really give a hoot about me?

Then at camp, at fifteen, I heard His entire story, from birth, death to resurrection. With “Sing alleluia to the Lord” lilting in the background, I decided then and there I’d follow Him the rest of my life. Under a star-pocked night, I wondered at His love. I wept.

That next summer I went to Malibu and annoyed my counselor with ten thousand questions. Oh how I loved Jesus. Oh how I cried when my friends met Him in that amazing place.

Later I’d become a Young Life leader, leading my own campers to weekend camps and Malibu. Oh how I pray that my small life had such an impact. That the songs we sang together caused those girls to hunger for Jesus.

***

So those songs are singing in my head today. I’m living a bit in nostalgia, thrilled that Jesus dared to love me enough to welcome me to Young Life and to a Brand New Life.

Sing alleluia to the Lord!

Jesus is risen from the dead!

Jesus is King and Lord of all!

Sing alleluia to the Lord!

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