I was reading something last night before bed, and it reminded me of something I did this weekend. I have to tell you, I am so pleased about it because this is a story that needs to be told and I just never knew how to tell it; until now. So, bear with me as I start this from the beginning…
A few months ago I felt that I was supposed to enter back in to the worship/singing team at church. It’s been about 6 years since I have sung in front of people and on a microphone. I am out of practice and, well, OLD. I was feeling very intimidated. The first time went as well as it could for my first time back (I didn’t choke or come out with my dress tucked in my underwear or anything). The second time I sang I was having a bit of trouble learning my part so I went in the office and met with the worship director. He helped me and then said, “Now, you did notice on the order of service that I have you playing the synth?” I calmly replied, “you are aware that I don’t play any kind of keyboard, right?”. He blew it off and said, “you’ll be fine.”. So I practiced and practiced for my “synth debut”. Singing was not even on my radar after that. I was laser-focused on my synth part. I couldn’t even sing while I played. That would for sure throw me off. The next time I sang he put me on the “chain.” Yes, a large chain that you might pull a car out a ditch with. Again, I practiced and practiced dropping and lifting that chain like my life depended on it. And then came this last weekend; The Humidor. You read that right. Only this time he took it up a notch and had me play one rhythm with my left hand (ONE and two AND three and four and) and another with a stick in my right hand (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8). For those of you not musically inclined, those are two ENTIRELY different rhythms with two different instruments, and one of them is on the OFF beat. Translation: really hard to do if you aren’t an actual percussionist. It’s like rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time. I have to say, I am starting to believe that they really aren’t a fan of my singing voice but don’t have the heart to tell me. Maybe they are hoping I’ll put my foot down and quit (but they don’t know who they are dealing with!). I can imagine them thinking, “bless her heart…She can’t really sing, so let’s just give her something to do up there so she doesn’t feel bad and won’t be able to sing while she’s doing it.”
Here’s how I made it through this weekends Humidor Challenge: when it was time to jump in on my beat, I stared like a stalker at the drummer. He was sort of on the same kind of rhythm as me and I found that if I really focused and did not try to sing or engage in anything else that was happening in the service, I was able to stay on track. If I ever considered trying to look like I was relaxed and casual and possibly tried to sing a note or two, all was lost. It was like playing double-Dutch trying to come back in if I got lost or off the beat.
So, 594 words later, you might be asking “and what is your point, exactly?”. Well, here’s what my reading by author Sarah Young said to me (this is supposed to be God talking…), “If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course. Instead, FOCUS ON ME, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life-journey.” I have been battling with this so much lately. My fretting and worrying and trying to control the outcome of every activity I take part in is literally making me feel crazy. When I read that, I was reminded of how I had to focus on the drummer to stay on beat, to keep the rhythm. In order to prevent my mind and heart from being distracted from God’s plan for me and others, I have to have “stalker” focus on HIM at all times. Trusting that HE knows better than I do what is best for me and other people. Praying for HIS will to be done in my life and the lives of others, not for Him to give me what I think is best. I have been forgetting that He has a plan, and it’s a good one. It’s the best one. And I don’t have to know exactly what it is in order to live with serenity.
God says to me, “although you remain aware of the visible world around you, your primary awareness needs to be of Me.”
Dear God-help me to be hyper-focused on YOU, just like I was on that drummer. Following Your rhythm for my life, even as distractions swirl around me, will protect me from the fear, anxiety and fretting that plague me when my eyes wander off to lesser things.