Song of the South

_CES1562The Psalmist tells us to “sing to the Lord a new song.” (96:1) After traveling and photographing in South Carolina and Georgia the past six days I am, indeed, singing a new song to the Lord. I’ll call it the “Song of the South.” It doesn’t include the words “zippedy doo-dah, zippedy dey” but the sentiment is close. It is a joyful celebration of all the new natural beauty I have seen. For whatever reason, I have not photographed South Carolina and Georgia before. I’ve discovered that this was a mistake.

CI758In recent days I’ve traipsed through various swamps, strolled along the shores of barrier islands, and marveled at sunrises on the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve watched majestic alligators sunbathing and seen explosions of color in azalea bushes. I’ve gazed with wonder at tunnels of live oaks draped in Spanish moss and felt like a kid again picking up seashells on the coast. All of these experiences are cause for celebration and praise. I am well-aware that God is the Giver of all good gifts so I offer Him my song of gratitude for all I’ve seen and witnessed on this journey.

In times past I wondered how a person could be expected to always “sing a new song to the Lord” but it all seems pretty clear to me now. Each day we are given new blessings. A lot of these we take for granted because they come so routinely. Others are brand new experiences and therefore more obvious. Still, each day we experience God in new ways and this experience calls for a new song. It can’t be the same old song because it’s a new day, things are different, we are different. As we come to experience more and more of God’s goodness, love and grace we have to keep coming up with new songs, new ways of expressing our own love, gratitude and worship in return.

_CES1745I encourage you to take the time to think about what God has provided or done for you today. Give some thought to the routine blessings that were yours this day, as well as those things that were special or different. Once you’ve done this, offer in your heart or with your tongue a new song to the Lord. In light of what God has provided you, nothing less than a new song will do.


(I took the top image this morning at Jekyll Island, the middle image yesterday at Cumberland Islands National Seashore, and the bottom one this morning at the Okefenokee Swamp.)