The first time I was asked (coaxed) into singing at church was over 10 years ago. I had been taking vocal lessons from the worship pastor and he liked a particular song I had written. When he asked me to sing it during offering for the evening service, I was hesitant but he assured me I was ready. I practiced like crazy and by the time I got up in front of those 400 people I had done everything in my power to assure success. From the very first word, things went horribly wrong...
Rather than start into the familiar first lyric I had practiced so many times, I started singing the second verse. Uh oh. My mind began to race.
How can I fix this?
Does this even make sense?
Maybe I can swap the second half of the verse with the first and get this back on track...
By the time I hit the pre-chorus I was like a kid who was running too fast for his legs. My mind couldn’t keep up and the next words I sang went like this: “…and blah blah blah, something, something I fogot the words...doo doo doo da dee da…” I finally caught back up on the chorus and was able to finish out the song with both my hands and my voice shaking uncontrollably. When I strummed the last chord I wanted desperately to crawl into a hole and hide, but instead I had to walk, head down and heart pounding past those 400 people to get to my seat. I was crushed; humiliated. Yet in that moment God spoke very clearly to me. My ego was too wrapped up in music.
It’s very easy for us to define ourselves by what we do. I say “I am a musician”, but God says “You are my child”. I can cease being a musician, but I will always be God’s child. That is who I am and it’s where all my value comes from. When I truly grasp this, my only response is a life of gratitude. I am grateful to lead worship so I strive to do it well. I am grateful for the Worship Artistry community so I strive to serve you well. Still, when I make a mistake, I know that God will not love me anymore or any less than He does right now. Read that last sentence again. I am a child of God.
Back on Track
This last Sunday I was leading “I Surrender All” during communion. We were singing louder and louder and it was a beautiful moment that I didn’t want to end. I made an attempt to close out the song with the second half of the chorus but like the kid running too fast for his legs, I wiped out. I sang the chorus words to the verse melody. A few words in, I let out that same “Uh oh”. Everybody laughed as I stopped playing guitar. This time, though, with a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I threw my hands wide and led the chorus one more time. I proclaimed "I surrender all", and I actually did.