A big milestone for me today. Singing my head off in the car - the venue has now changed as I get stuck into the college choir and sing at worship in a college band. I have always sang and part of my testimony is all bound up with a song. I'll never forget the day when I was happily travelling along in my car somewhat aneasthetised to the world. I had surrounded myself with lots of trappings and I think my relationship with God had been put on the back-burner a little. He was there but I was doing a lot of things in my own strength which meant I felt great about the successes and crap about the failures and didn't rest in him in the bad times or give him glory for the good times. I felt like I controlled my destiny. I was burning out, I think. I was searching for purpose and it was beginning to be answered. My church family seemed to believe that if I trusted in God, I could contribute to church-life by taking on a children's group. I think that they suspected that once God got hold of me, he wouldn't let go and I would become aware of his firm grip and relinquish my life to him. Maybe they did not think these things and were just grateful for an ex-teacher volunteer but their investment in me had me lose my life to have it saved.
...So there I was singing in my car on the way to a church meeting, 'I owe you nothing...nothing at all' by Bros (1980s). I am not sure to whom I was singing this song but I was doing so passionately and defiantly. God gave me a voice but it wasn't singing words to his glory.
When I entered that darkened, candle-lit church room, 'Here I am to worship, Here I am to bow down, Here I am to say that you're my God' was played and the Holy Spirit very gently convicted me of my pride, brought me low and to my knees and I felt very much that if I was to ever sing again it would be songs of praise to my refuge, provider, Father, strong tower, ever present strength in times of need.'
....so tonight I sang about surrendering and there is still more for me to surrender but I am beginning to give up control of the reigns of my life. My Father guides me now and no longer do I chomp so hard on the bit in my mouth, it has become something quite sweet and I look forward to where I might be steered next. I am aware that I do still wear blinkers, just to extend the analogy, but I also have a feeling that when they put me to work in a hospital after Christmas to shadow a chaplain and stare life and death and human messiness in its most literal form, in the face, the blinkers will be taken off. I am seriously scared but seriously excited and I have a feeling I will be considering my own messiness in a little more detail too.
Thank you God for worship.