#slowitdownSunday / learning perseverance when things don’t go like you planned (and you really want to quit)

the daily Starr slow it down Sunday

Lately I’ve been struggling when it comes to leading worship in our church.

My dad (aka the Pastor) reminded me last week that it is my responsibility to lead the choir and the musicians. When I’m struggling to know the music or the songs, everyone else struggles too. It’s my job to be prepared.

I took his advice and spent extra time practicing with the musicians for worship this week. The choir music was selected well ahead of time and I felt more prepared going into today’s service than I have in forever.

Then nothing went as planned.

I felt helpless in front of our congregation. I literally wanted to do 1 of 2 things –

#1 – start over

#2 – just go sit down and quit

HA!

Far from a mindset of actually worshiping – I was caught up in surviving the songs and a sound system that wasn’t functioning as intended.

Then, I remembered the words we read in Sunday School – right before things fell apart for me in worship.

7-8 Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.

9 Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.

10-11 Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.

12 And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say yes or no. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you.  James 5:7-12 MSG

 

Be patient.

Stay steady and strong.

Don’t complain about each other (even the people running the sound board, HA!).

Stay the course.

God brought it all together for him at the end.

Don’t show your impatience.

There are countless examples throughout the Bible of people living lives that didn’t go as planned.

Job. Noah. David. Mary.

They all had stories – stories of pain and struggle.

Job lost it all and had terrible friends who did no good coming to visit and cheer him up!

Noah was viewed as a crazy man who was building a boat in a place that hadn’t seen rain in YEARS.

David was God’s chosen and anointed King. He watched a lady taking a bath (Bathsheba – she be taking a bath, hahah) and then had her husband killed while he was away at war. Talk about things not going as planned!!

Mary got pregnant before she was married, had a baby in a barn and then watched him die on a cruel cross long before His life should have ended.

But, God!

God had a purpose for everything they went through. They stayed the course. They didn’t give up. And God delivered.

Just like He delivers for you and me still today.

When things don’t turn out like we’ve planned – we can complain, pout and give up.

Signboard with two signs saying - Try again - Give up - pointing in opposite directions with the sign saying Give up scribbled through.

Or, we can ask God to direct us in whatever His plan may be, even when we can’t quite see the path ahead.

And as for me and my music struggles, I’m learning other ways I can be fully prepared to lead our church in worship. Even when I’m falling apart, God is still faithful to show up in the midst of our worship and touches lives. That’s His job anyways, right? Right!

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4 comments

  1. Starr, I worked the screen, where the words would appear for the folks to follow along, and there were times I would accidentally hit the advance key and the poor folks wouldn’t be sure just what was up. (wasn’t sure if it would be better to go back or just wait for them to catch up. ugh) But the Music Minister was a really different kind of guy. We had two services and between the two we would go over what went well and what we needed to adjust. He was never frustrated or angry and it was just matter of fact. I learned a lot from him. I used to think all things that weren’t perfect was a tragedy but Nope not true. It is just a matter of adjustment. God knows that you were prepared. He also knows that the enemy loves to throw in a wrench. I am learning that God is in control and He loves us so what else matters. love you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You would be one of my favorite people if you worked the slides!!!! Seriously. That takes patience. Especially when I mix up the words or slides or decide to change the order at the last minute. I’m learning we all have to be flexible in ministry and perfection is totally overrated lol!! Dad called me this morning to let me know that a young lady got saved in service yesterday after I went off to Children’s church. Wow. God knows. And He has a plan – in the midst of our mess ups!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Perfection is overrated. But I completely get when WE (you, me, Moonbeam, others that work that side of service) know that something has not right (I hate saying wrong – because it works out) – it takes a minute for us to refocus.

        For me, working in projection (and lights), it’s all about cues for a production. Being prepared for a unplanned scripture to be asked for, or going out of order on the songs – or adding a new song that was on the set list (or changing the lyrics and just singing choruses on several songs back to back – but don’t miss it – because the singers don’t know it…) I miss SOO much of the message and worship in a service anymore. And even the days when I am not “in the back”, I can’t pay attention to the service and worship because I’m still watching for cues. (Unfortunately for me, even at other churches when I’ve visited, in my head I am critiquing how the projection looks – too many words on the screen, bad font to read, distracting backgrounds. I had a friend tell me to close my eyes and listen – don’t look. 🙂 )

        BUT when someone is touched by the Holy Spirit during a service or afterwards – when a life is saved or changed. That makes me realize my frustrations are minor in the big scheme of things – and that He has it all in control.

        (And yes, I am working on addressing my frustrations.)

        Starr, you are an amazing woman of God – that has a wonderful gift and calling. You are doing a wonderful job – and He is working great things through you and your part of ministry.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much for these words of encouragement. I agree. It can be so weird to sit in a service as part of the congregation when you’ve been part of leading or serving for so long. We did this recently at a prayer meeting service and I really enjoyed allowing others to handle all of the many aspects of vocals, musicians, sound equipment, slides, etc. Knowing that God has a way of working out all for the good, is exactly what I have to keep telling myself. When I want to sit down because I think what we’re offering isn’t good enough – that is when Jesus says just watch and see my child!!!!

        Like

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