Tuesday, July 20, 2010

attention

I sang at our weekly gathering of Church on Sunday night. Well, I sing every Sunday, but this time it was in front of a microphone. It had been a few weeks, so it was great to set up the keyboard, let my fingers flutter over the notes, and lift my voice to join with Dean's to tell of the wonders of an astounding God. The first song that we rehearsed in the sound check, one that I happened to sing the lead in, starts out very low and ends up really high, just on the edge of my range. I should have known better than to begin with that, especially without a warm-up. I squeaked, cracked, and strained my way through it and by the end, was feeling pretty sorry for anyone who had heard the sound check. I hoped I would do better when the time came to sing in front of everyone, but I wasn't too hopeful.

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.

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