“Do it again.” Three words that make kids laugh and make parents go insane.
This past Easter Sunday morning, I was making a big pancake breakfast for my family. Tricia (my wife) was having a nice sleep-in, and Sophia (our daughter) was patiently awaiting her feast. A few years ago, I put together an Easter playlist for my iPod, and of course I added some songs from Resurrection Letters, Volume II this year. Much to my surprise, my little two year old started singing along to “All Things New.” Every time those three words (“all
things new”) came up, she belted them right out. I read in an interview where Andrew said he wanted his songs to be the kind that are still being sung years from now. Be encouraged: the next generation is already singing them.
Those repeated words, “all things new,” are what caught Sophie’s attention. Everyone with kids knows that they’re in for some annoyance when you’ve done something funny, and they want you to “do it again.” And again. And again. And again. And again. That’s not anywhere near enough “and again”s
But there might be some wisdom in the child’s repetition that we’re missing. G.K. Chesterton wrote,
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. (Orthodoxy, Chapter 4)
Or, as Rich Mullins wrote,
Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms
And be growing young
Perhaps our inability to abide repetition, our constant looking for something “new,” has a lot more to do with our weakness and failure than it does our becoming “mature.” Lately, I’ve been trying to gather the strength to “do it again” as many times as Sophia requests it, and I’ve been trying to summon the wisdom to find joy in the repetition.
The new song Sophie was singing is paradoxically older than the universe. When Scripture refers to a “new song,” it’s not referring “a song recently written,” but a renewed song, or a song of renewal. “All Things New” and every song that conveys enternal truth is the repetition of the ancient paths which will one day be fully renewed. It is, most definitely, a song worth repeating.