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Monday, February 23, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Stage

Boy, howdy, I have been worked over but good these last few weeks and my heart is pert near worn out!  My story is so long, I have to break it into several parts so as not to have you read a novel in one sitting. 

I was asked to sing again at church this past weekend.  Remember when I struggled so much last summer?  Click here if you don't. 

I said yes because I loved the song and really believed I could do it justice.  I knew about it for almost a month and the first two weeks of running through it, I felt so confident.  Then as time for rehearsal drew nearer, I started to feel a little shaky.  This note was really higher than I thought. This line takes a lot more breath control than I thought.  Is this where I hold for four counts or do I immediately repeat that line?  Are there really about 800 people at EACH service?

I've been working through Beth Moore's latest study on the book of Esther.  (If you EVER thought studying the Bible was boring, take one of her studies and you will be hooked!) The week before rehearsal I felt like she was preaching directly to me.  We looked deeper into how Esther could go from "Are you crazy?  I can't approach the King without invitation," to "I'll go. And, if I perish, I perish, " in about four verses. 

She talked about how none of us are born brave.  That if we want to face our fears, it's one difficult choice after another to do so.  No magic emotions will appear, no immediate release from a pounding heart.  It's choice after choice. It will be hard.  

Three main points were:
  1. Esther had to overcome herself in order to do what God had created her and positioned her to do.
  2. Esther faced the fear, she didn't run from it (even when it would've been understandable for her to do just that!)
  3. Esther took the courage she was offered. (Again, we're not born with it, we have to take the courage offered us.)
What she said in that lesson mirrored what a beloved worship pastor friend told me.  He said, "Sing out of your calling and not out of your talent."  

I want every time to say, "Thanks so much for thinking of me, but I just can't do it." You see, if I don't get on stage then there's nothing to criticize.  No notes to miss. No shaky voice or quirky nervous tick to bring under control.  Then Beth's words really hit home.  She added, "We can protect ourselves right out of our calling."  

Do you know your calling? Are you running from your calling for any reason? Are you meant to work with kids, but you're afraid of their parents?  Are you meant to be at home with your children, but afraid there won't be enough money for groceries?  Are you meant to be drilling wells, but are sitting behind a desk? Or, conversely, are you meant to be a leader in a corporation but hiding in the solitude of building a well?

Singing is one of the things I can do well, but I'm so afraid of screwing up, I want to protect myself.  I had to ask if God's calling on my life is more important than self-preservation. 

I'm afraid it shows the condition of my heart that the choice was not easy.

More tomorrow....


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