Sunday, June 29, 2014
Do something (It's not enough to do nothing)
This is one of those times when I want to write something, but I can't think of how to frame it. I had more instances this week of trusting God's leading and feeling blessed by the results. The daily devotional I read compiled from Oswald Chambers' teaching and writings, "My Utmost for His Highest," often reminds me that the reason for doing God's will isn't for the hope of a reward or blessing, but solely out of love, devotion and obedience. And still, when I do seek God's guidance, wait to hear it and then act on it, the blessing always follows. The biggest thing this past week was knowing that I wanted to volunteer to do special music at church. I made the decision Tuesday or Wednesday, and made the offer at choir practice Wednesday night. I knew what I wanted to sing -- Matthew West's "Do Something" -- but I also knew it was a contemporary song with a whole lot of words, and probably out of my vocal range, that would be difficult for me to learn and sing. I found an accompaniment track in a better key, but it had background vocals, which are another obstacle for me. Still, the message of the song called out to me, and so I endeavored to follow through: "Do Something." I spent more time than usual on Saturday trying to learn the words and cadence. It came together OK, but at some point, I realized this song truly is about the words and spirit for me. It's not a beautiful melody and arrangement. "God, why don't you do something? He said I did: I created you! ... It's not enough to do nothing ... It's time for us to do something." I know I need to do more than just pray and sing. But I'm seeing that if that's all I can do, it's better to do that than nothing. And -- I am continuing to learn that if there's not time to pray, there shouldn't be time to do anything else. Prayer needs to come first. That's still a tremendous step of faith that I don't always take, especially when I'm traveling. I still pray, but it's more likely to be in bed before I get up, or along the way as I go about my day. I prefer to spend what is becoming "quality time" in prayer. But that requires discipline and time management -- and it still seems that when time runs short, the focused prayer is what gets sacrificed. This is true even though I've seen time and again that when I put prayer first, everything else does fall into place. (Changes of habits and priorities come very slowly.) But yesterday, I did pray, and I did practice the song. And when I started to stress out about whether I would get the song learned or how to spend my time, I shifted my mind back to my decision to trust God with this. Highlights of my day ended up including my 12-step meeting, petting the kitties at Second Chance and then spending some time at a reining horse derby with my sister. Today, in addition to the special music, Sunday worship also included an energetic anthem ("The Gospel Train") and favorite hymns ("How Great Thou Art!"), and the afternoon included a praise band practice and more favorite worship songs. Other things (grocery shopping, clothes washing, some household chores and phone calls) fell into place. I feel grateful and blessed.