"Oh, how could we ever sing God's song in this wasteland?" Psalm 137:4 (MSG)
The lyrics of Psalm 137 don't pull any punches. This song was sure-fire, sixth century B.C., mesopotamian, ten verse blues. The song writer was living in captivity. Uprooted from his home in Jerusalem when it was sacked and destroyed (Read more about that from another "soul man," Jeremiah, in the book of Lamentations), we find our lyricist standing by the Euphrates river as his Babylonian captors mock him and call for a song. In defiance, he hangs his blues harp on the limb of a nearby willow tree and sits down to weep and cry out to God in an angry rage.
Life's road will take us through some pretty barren wastelands. Consider another bluesy musical trip down Route 66. Chicago is a rocking great place to start. There are some amazing views through the plush green of middle-Missouri and into the plains of Oklahoma. But, before you wet your toes in the deep blue Pacific off the Santa Monica pier, you've got some long stretches of desert wasteland to traverse.
We can't always control where life's road will lead. As another psalm writer, Solomon, penned, there are times along the journey to crank up the music and sing with the windows rolled down; there are also times to hang our blues harps on a tree by the road and keep silent. Both are equal parts of the journey.
Our job is to keep going.