I slumped into my mini van tonight at just after 5pm.  It had been a long day already and I was feeling tired.  discouraged.  disheartened.  My set list for the night's practice was not ready, and nothing about it felt right.

I've said many times that I love my job, and it's true I do.

However, there is the artistic side of the worship planning I do that can produce the same angst that any artist knows well.   Maybe for you it's when your painting looks great to everyone else, but you see the space that's missing...something.  Maybe it's your scrapbook layout that looks a little off, or your cake that is a little...different.

Art can be anything, and for me it's music and scripture.  The Spirit leads and the most days the set comes together without too much trouble, but every once in a while it comes with much struggle.  The song sheets pile high as nothing feels right or works or sounds exactly like I hear it in my head.

Like I say, angst.

But after the struggle, I humbly present my offering to the Lord and to my team and they receive it with grace.  My friend strums his guitar to the opening song (too familiar? too over-done?) and his lovely wife starts to play the piano.  The song begins to come alive and the Spirit nudges, "See? I told you it was the right one."

Another friend walks in and looks at the closing song and exclaims, "I was just playing this song earlier today!  Man, I love that song!"

Song by song we rehearse and my spirit rises with the beauty of the music, the truth of the lyrics and by the hand of the Spirit.

And when we finish, we rush down the hall to start our choir rehearsal where I introduce one of our Easter selections.  My flesh worries "will they like it?"  At the first notes of the song, the fun begins!  Everyone loves the song, enjoying the challenge of the score.  There is laughter and singing and praise to our risen Lord.  These are my friends who I also get to sing with!  Thank you, Lord!

I lock up the church and hop back into my mini van at 9:50pm.  I find myself smiling as I drive back home and then I find myself praying.  Thanking the Lord for His goodness and provision.  Thanking Him for music, for struggle, for truth and for friends.

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,
 because you, brother, 
have refreshed the hearts 
of the Lord’s people. 
(Philemon 1:7)


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