We hum some songs across decades. It is worth asking why they strike a chord.
When I was a freshman high school (think late 70’s), England Dan and John Ford Coley recorded a song written by Rafe Van Hoy, “What’s Forever For?” But the song was by no means done after its first appearance. It soared to number 1 in the 80’s when Michael Martin Murphy covered it. “What’s Forever For?” got our attention again in 2000 when a young Billy Gilman sang it for the movie Pay it Forward.
Thirty-seven years later many could sing along with the lyrics if they heard “What’s Forever For” on the radio (or IPod or whatever people listen to now).
If you know the song, then you know the central question the song raises is, “if love doesn’t last forever then what’s forever for?” The musicians ask, “What’s the glory in leaving?” The artists point is that love is not glorious if does not last.
So why do we keep singing, “What’s Forever For?” Who has the best explanation for that song? Does the idea that we are a collection of biochemical impulses explain our commitment to love? Of course not. Christians know why we (or at least some of us) keep humming, “What’s Forever For?” Deep down, we have a God given intuition that true love lasts. A commitment to lasting love reflects the God who created us in His image: the one true God is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – – eternally giving and self-giving in relationship. True love is forever because it reflects God who is forever.
But the recognition that love lasts should also remind believers that there is an urgency to our call to glorify God by making fully devoted followers of Christ. Those who do not know Christ, and do not enjoy his lasting love, will not know the glory of living with Christ and other believers for all eternity. So whatever songs about love we enjoy, we should be asking ourselves even as we sing, “Have I shown love to people around me by inviting them to enjoy the love of the Savior that ‘lasts forever’?”