Judging by the title no one would blame you for assuming this is going to be one long lament. It is not out of my comfort zone to be open about my shortcomings and lament my failures but that is not what this is about. Lament is tied to sorrow but this post is quite the opposite. This post is my way of rejoicing as I recognize the unpredictability of the journey and the predictability of the one who guides me.
Boy that piano bench was hard.
If someone had told me that all those hours at a piano, practicing while other kids played and had fun would become a ministry tool and a great source of joy, I would have complained a little less. My mother is turning 87 in a few days; with all my whining and complaining about piano lessons and practice, it’s amazing she didn’t die of some stress related heart issue in her forties. If someone had told me that I would someday use these skills, write music, play publically and actually enjoy the piano, I would have laughed at them and said as soon as my parents give up on making me play, I am done.
The shower has good acoustics.
If someone had told me that the voice heard in the shower and for that matter all around my house when I thought no one was listening would be leading worship when a lot of people were listening, I may have been a little less shy about using it. Our house was like the stage of a musical, a song for everything was sung (still is) at the top of my lungs at least when I thought (or think) no one was (or is) home. Once it was time to be on the real stage, in a real musical, my nerves would take the power from my voice and suddenly I sang like I was whispering. If someone had told me some day people will actually pay you to sing, I may have been a little less timid.
The classroom was like a carnival ride.
If someone had told me that if you just speak, don’t think about the people as judges but instead sponges that want to absorb information, if they had told me that the spinning room and the upset stomach would settle down in time, I may have stopped dreading the speech requirement of English class. No one has ever questioned if I could talk a lot but to actually stand up and speak in front of a crowd on a regular basis, I definitely would tell you, “no that’s not my thing.” If someone had told me I would preach regularly and the room would not spin, my heart would not race and the contents of my digestive system would not look for the nearest exit, I may have enjoyed giving speeches.
The assignments were like torture.
If someone had told me that writing, the thing I hated but forced myself to do because of school, would someday become a joy, I may have worked harder and continued to write just for fun. I could have never dreamed of writing numerous theatrical scripts, a book and that I would write a blog post twice a week (of course back then there was no such thing as a blog- boy I’m old). As a matter of fact any dream that included writing would have been a nightmare that would cause me to wake up screaming in a cold sweat. If someone had told me, I would have laughed at them and said I don’t even like reading books let alone writing.
If someone had told me I would not have believed them.
Things have changed so much. I have changed so much. God has not changed at all. God was at work and is at work even if I can’t see how it all fits together. The me of the past could not imagine the me of the future doing the things the me of the past hated doing. The me of the past could not fathom the me of the future overcoming the fears the me of the past had. The me of the past could not imagine the God of the past, present and future using the me of the future to do things the me of the past thought were a waste of time.
This post is my way of rejoicing as I recognize the unpredictability of the journey and the predictability of the one who is guides me.
If my God in His predictable faithfulness has steered me during my unpredictable journey, surprising me by doing things that I could never imagine, why don’t I fully trust Him? When money is tight, health is poor, when life is in turmoil, when people hurt me or… (you fill in the blank, why does the current me find it hard to imagine that the future me will look back and see the unpredictable journey was guided by the one who is predictably faithful?
No matter how many times someone tells me, in the middle of it all I have trouble believing them.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)