Last night (that would be 3-26-11) Curtis and I went with the youth group to the Love Come to Life Tour with Big Daddy Weave, Chris Sligh, and Luminate. Aside from forgetting our tickets at home and having to borrow the pastor's car to go get them (totally my bad...I had them in my hand at one point yesterday and then totally and completely forgot about them when we left the house! ERGH!), it was a really great night of good music, fun fellowship, and Jesus-centered worship.
But before I get off on some rabbit trail about music and all that...I want to stay focused on the one thing that really resonated with me last night. In every good concert/worship experience there are several moments that are striking. And being a person that connects so heavily through music it can almost always be an emotional evening. In fact, if my emotions don't get a little high, I know I've wondered far from the flock and I've grown that numb. Anyway...of all those moments the one that really hit home happened early in the evening.
The lead singer from Luminate told a story about how their song 'Fearlessly' came to be written. He was afraid of failure, of worldly failure. He said it left him petrified and unable to move forward. But then he read in Romans 8 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.". And it gave him what he needed to get past his fear. The Bible repeats over and over again, 'do not fear, I am with you'. And one of my personal favorite passages is in 1 John when we are told that perfect love casts out fear and there is no fear in love.
And then he (the lead singer) said this: If God has opened a door for you, you must walk through it.
No matter if you're scared, intimidated, or think you're unworthy. If God has opened the door, you must walk through it. I realized God has opened many doors for me over the years but I've walked through very few of them. I struggle a lot with perfection. I'm one of those people that thinks that if I can't do it 'perfectly', I shouldn't do it at all. But that leaves no room for God to be strong in my weakness, for His grace to strengthen all the weak spots. That attitude allows fear (not of God) to win. I'm petrified, just like the lead singer said. Afraid to move forward, backward, left or right, I'll just stand still and hope the opportunity passes so I don't have to make a move. I've let so many good things go by because I was afraid of what might happen. I didn't trust, I wasn't committed to making the most of my God-given opportunities. I let my fear of earthly failure hijack my faith.
I noticed when some of the youth girls and I were getting pictures and autographs that the lead singer has 'More Than Conquerors' tattooed on his arm. A permanent reminder of God's promise, of what has already been done for him, for me, for us. I like that idea. I write things I don't want to forget on my hands all the time anyway--just ask my students--so I'm thinking about writing 'commit' on my hand. Commit is my word for this year, my prayer for myself, my promise. When I think about being truly committed to whatever I put my hand to I find motivation to not let fear or laziness get in the way. I push through whatever stands in my way. And the shear act of writing 'commit' on my hand every day, even for just a week, will remind me of what I'm committed to. And will also remind me of that 'More Than Conqueror's tattoo, which in turn reminds me of what I am because of what Jesus has already done. And suddenly...that fear of failure doesn't seem so momentous.
So that was my big moment last night. Of the 3+ hours we spent rocking out and worshipping God that was my moment. Every now and then I know I'm exactly where God needed me to be so I could hear from Him...it can be in my car listening to the radio, at Church taking in a sermon, or even at a concert hanging out with youth. I guess I didn't just hear some good tunes last night, I heard from God. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening (aside from the ticket debacle).