For those of us who have attended church for a long time, I think it's easy to fall into autopilot when it comes to familiar prayers and songs. How often have I sung the words to a hymn or other song without thinking about what I'm singing? How many times have I prayed the Lord's prayer out of rote memorization, with little comprehension of its power? Although many times I fall short in this area, I make an effort to be mindful of the words.
Sometimes I also feel unsettled when singing words I'm not sure I'm living up to: Am I really surrendering all when I sing that beloved hymn? Am I truly desiring to surrender all?
A few years ago, a student shared an insight that has really stayed with me. In a popular praise song, there is a line that says, "In all I do I honor You." The young woman said that phrase has always bothered her, because she knows it isn't true. She thinks it should say, "In all I do, I want to honor You". I think of that every time when I see these words--when I sing these words.
It's so easy to let our lips do the singing without engaging our hearts, souls and minds. I find it a constant mental battle to not drift into autopilot--but it's a battle I believe is worth fighting.