Saturday morning began way too early. I was out late Friday night watching "Wolverine"! (Sorry, I have to pause for just a minute to yell WOOOOO!!!!) So when my body woke up a little before 5, I ignored it and stayed in bed till 6. I had to run some errands at Wal-mart, work on stuff for children's ministry, and do a bit of housework before we left at 10:30.
The concert was an outdoor event. Most of the day, the rain was a fairly light drizzle. Drizzle doesn't really bother me. I was just vain enough to be disturbed by my hair getting messed up and having to wear ugly rain panchos. Yes, I know, God is still working with me on my vanity. However, three times the storm sirens sounded and we had to evacuate into nearby buildings. The first two evacuations were fairly short lived, and we were able to quickly return to the concert.
Sanctus Real really rocked the place. I had not seen them live. Loved them! I wasn't as crazy about Flyleaf. I like their stuff on the radio, but they did lots of screaming at this concert and that's hard for me to understand. However, I was very interested in her story of how she became a follower of Jesus Christ, but then we were evacuated again because of storm sirens and were unable to hear the rest of her story.
By the third evacuation, I was just ticked. Not at the concert people. They were doing their best to keep the crowd safe, but I was just a little ticked at the weather maker. Yes, God. I mean, come on....I spent big bucks on these tickets and was not getting to worship! Was God really going to let all that money go to waste? Yes, it's embarrassing to admit.... I was frustrated that God let us have bad weather when all I wanted to do was to worship Him!
So I am trying to hide my frustration with God that I know is way so not cool. It's embarrassing to be with your church friends and be ticked at God. I finally got out my iPOD and began listening to all my "rain" songs. I came to Tomlin's "My Chains Are Gone." This line stuck with me, "And like a flood, his mercy rains, unending love, amazing grace." This was about the time rain was moving across the football field in blinding sheets.
God got my attention pretty good at that point.... his mercy rains on us like a flood.... HELLO! ARE YOU NOT WATCHING????? That's when my frustration turned to worship. If God's mercy rains down on me like that rain was pouring in sheets on that field.... that's some pretty amazing mercy. The popping lightning is the only thing that kept me from walking right out into the pouring rain to fully experience the moment. Then God spoke to my frustration, "I AM NOT A GOD WHO CAN BE MANIPULATED, PLANNED, SCHEDULED OR BOUGHT. I DESERVE YOUR WORSHIP EVERY DAY AND EVERY MOMENT. YOU DO NOT NEED A TICKET TO MEET WITH ME." Oh. I was assuming that somehow the money I spent on the tickets made God more likely to show up. God was reminding me that He is available for free. Anytime.
Rain let up and we did get to see Crowder and Tomlin. It was absolutely an incredible night of worship for me. I loved being able just to let go and worship. And in case I ignored God's voice earlier, one of speaker Chan's points was that "God cannot be manipulated." That was pretty wow cause that was precisely the word that God had used with me in dealing with my sinful attitude. Then Tomlin emphasized his line, "Like a flood, his mercy rains" in response to the weather. So I was pretty sure that the moment earlier under the bleachers at the football stadium was no coincidence.
The night ended with fireworks. My friend Liz noticed something pretty spectacular. She said that when the fireworks first went up there was a single light, but then they spread out into a wide-reaching beautiful pattern. She said it's like the gospel. As you share God's love with others and they in turn share with others, it becomes a beautiful light that cannot be contained.
Bottom line? Wet, cold, shivering.....but amazing worship experience. Would not have traded any of it....not even the rain. On the way home got some Starbucks. Nothing like the perfect end to the perfect evening :)