We ran through the rest of the songs, and then I headed off to the bathroom. My throat felt a bit raw and I berated myself gently for not singing and practicing more consistently at home. It was too late to do anything about it now, so I asked God to please help my voice and did a few vocal exercises in front of the mirror. Then I sat down in a stall in the toilet and reminded God that all I really wanted was to help people worship Him, and not to distract them with scratchy, pitchy vocals. Could he please help me sing clearly and strongly?
And then I heard his response: You are thinking more about your voice than about Me.
And Jesus was right, as usual. I actually sing better when I forget about myself and what I sound like and just believe what I am singing. This time it was the quality of my voice that had my attention. Other times it is the work I have to accomplish the next day, or the conversations I have had earlier, or what I am hungry for, or the shirt I am wearing that doesn't fit right, or how tired I am, or what a great movie I saw last night, or what did Dean mean when he said something to me, or what friends should I get together with? So often I am thinking about everything else BUT Jesus! And that is not worship at all.
It is really hard to give God my full attention, even for the space of a few moments (was that a text message? what are my friends doing?), but I want to. God is worth it. Nothing else is more pressing than presenting myself to God, all of me. Let me give him this present often, not just once a week.
This is a photo of a spring twig at the lake: small, but it grabbed my attention. My camera found it hard to focus on, but finally got it.