[forthright] Hold My Mule

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2007 13:11:44 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross


Hold My Mule
by Mike Benson

"The old man couldn't carry a tune in a syrup
bucket, but he loved to sing--even if it was off-
key. Besides, he was bad about 'amening' the
preacher. Services had degenerated into an
undignified 'assembly' because of the old man. He
simply got too involved in the 'goings on' and
forgot himself.

"Four of the more 'well-to-do' members decided
that this man was too 'crude' for the
congregation. They appointed themselves as the
ones to go talk to the old man.

"When they arrived at the old man's house, he was
in the field plowing with his old mule. Though it
was beneath their dignity, they finally walked
through that dusty ground which soiled their
clothes to talk to the old man. 'Brother Jones,'
they began, 'we want to talk to you about your
singing. Not meaning any offense, you just can't
sing. We wish you would not try to sing so loud
because it ruins our services.'

"'I'm sorry,' he replied, 'it's just that when I
look at these old clothes that I wear and then I
think of the robes that God has for me, I can't
help singing. When I see that old shack that I
live in and realize that it might fall down any
time and then I think about the beautiful palace
that God has for me, I just have to sing praises
to the Lord. You see this old hat that I got on?
Well, when I see that crown in my mind that God
has for me, I just have to tell the wonderful name
of Jesus at the top of my lungs. As a matter of
fact,' he said, 'would one of you hold my mule? I
feel like singing.' They left him singing in the

"As these four men left the old man in the field,
they viewed him in a different light. One said to
the rest, 'You know, his singing isn't really all
that bad.' Another joined in, 'I never really
realized how sweet his voice really is.' The third
said, 'When I get to heaven, I just hope God will
allow me to sing in the same group that he sings
in!'" (Gary Headrick).

Like the aging farmer, singing should be our
delight (James 5:13). On occasion, I have observed
that some Christians sing with little or no
enthusiasm at all--assuming that they sing at all.
Others forgo Sunday evening serves if they know
that it's going to be devoted primarily to that
act of worship.

In years gone by, it was not uncommon for throngs
of brethren to travel great distances to attend a
"singing." Why? Because they delighted in lifting
up their hearts to the Father above.

"Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises
to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is
beautiful" (Psalm 147:1).

Singing (Acts 16:25) should come naturally to us.
If Old Testament "worthies" reacted to the
blessings of Jehovah with song and praise, how
much more should we (Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5)?
"The Lord is my strength; my heart trusted in Him
and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly
rejoices, and with son I will praise him" (Psalm

Singing should involve not just some of our heart,
but all of our heart (Matthew 22:37). Someone once
said, "It is a great sign of mediocrity to praise
always moderately."

All of us may not be talented in voice, but all of
us can--and should--sing to the Lord with our
whole being.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within
me, bless His holy name" (Psalm 103:a; cf. John
4:24; 1 Corinthians 14:15)!

Would one of you hold my mule, please? I feel like
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