Pulling into the parking lot this morning, I felt an overwhelming burden to pray for our services before we even started unloading the truck. Shawn and I sat onstage and prayed for our people, our ministry, and God's presence to fill the place. I was so glad that we had spent some time in prayer, cause things got a little squirrely today during set-up.
Our sound went crazy - probably the worst problems yet. As in large amounts of intensely loud random static, stuff acting absolutely nuts, all kinds of problems that couldn't be corrected. At 10:24 (services less than 10 minutes out) we had no sound. Robby solved the sound issues enough that we were able to start on time. We still had no background vocals, but at least the loud static stopped. The playstation would not plug in and function either, so the rockband portion of the service had to be cancelled, and a fast download made of today's song.
Shawn did a great job with the message. He used "Carry on Wayward Son" as a hook into the message today. He completely just rolled with the whole playstation not working and handled the technical difficulties gracefully. Shawn talked today about living life when you are losing hope. He talked about continuing faithfully in your walk with God and staying connected with other believers. When we are discouraged, it is easier to pull away from the people we are close to rather than to deal with our painful issues. We are like a wounded animal that crouches in a dark corner, licking our own cuts. It is always easier to avoid and run away from our problems and stay miserable than to work through them and find true healing.
Galatians 6:9 hit me this morning, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Here's my honesty part - Friday night I was ready to give up. I was miserably sick which never helps lend true perspective to any situation. Shawn and I had a minor disagreement which meant I couldn't sleep, so I sat in the kitchen till 2 a.m. grading papers. I was so frustrated and discouraged that my life is flying by, and I have passions and things that God has placed in my life that I don't have the time or energy to fulfill at this time. The being sick lead to me feeling pretty overwhelmed by all the stuff that urgently needs to get done. Overwhelmed by the crazy juggling act of trying to be on my game and prepared to teach, trying to parent our kids, needing to put our house on the market, ministry needs at The Crossroads, and then needing to be fully surrendered to what God's call is on my own life. There are days when the mountain is too tall to be climbed. Galations 6:9 reminded me that God has the proper time all figured out. I only have to be faithful with the hours of today. Then with tomorrow when it gets here, then with the tomorrow after that. If I am surrendered and obedient with each tomorrow, I will eventually arrive at the destination God has planned for me. Great encouragement today.
Also loved Hebrews 12:1-3, "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Weary. I often feel so weary. It is good to be reminded that focusing on Christ will renew my strength and give me a fresh perspective and a new heart.
Want to hear something funny? After services we stayed late to try to chase down and problem solve the sound gremlins. We unplugged everything, plugged it all right back in - worked just fine. No loud buzzing or static, no strangely muted mics or instruments, no cracking monitors. All just fine.
One last word. Auditions for the worship team were announced today. When it was announced that all positions were open for auditions, some of my friends were not happy with the idea that I might be replaced. I appreciate all the kind words, but here's how I feel about that. I want whatever is best for The Crossroads musically. I have always, frequently told Robby that as much as I love being on stage, I always want us to use the best (or maybe "right" is a better word) people on stage. Best does not always mean most musically talented in a worship situation, and that's why spiritual health will also be a part of the audition process. Unless we open the doors for auditions, we may not ever know what talents are in our midst. If there is ever a professional level pianist who is broken and humble and seeks to be totally surrendered to God's will and would fit well with the band and would do a better job than me, I would be absolutely and completely honored to step aside and watch from the audience as God takes our music to an even higher level. The idea behind auditions is not to exclude existing band members, but to allow God the opportunity to bring musicians out of hiding that could be used in worship - for example we don't even have an electric guitar player after all. We are all hoping there's one in hiding somewhere in the audience. So no more grumbling, okay. Thanks for the love, though.