Sunday morning was consumed by logistics: lint rolling our Sunday best, navigating traffic, and guiding people to their “appointed” pews. The church buzzed in anticipation of Christmas, adorned with decorations and echoes of children counting down the days. My mind wrestled with responsibilities and plans for later in the day. Certainly not the right headspace, let alone heart space for worship.
The music was light and joyful, as was the sermon. On the altar, bread and wine sat in silence. The Lord’s Supper is very personal to me, nourishment in so many ways when my heart is right enough to receive it, but I was struggling. As I navigated the aisle, the music seemed a bit fast for the occasion, adding to my distraction. Returning to my seat I thought, “What a missed opportunity.” Music speaks to me and through me, but today, I felt neither.
At the piano, music is prayer, my worship without words and I invite others into that sacred space. I’ve been told at times, a song is the only sermon someone hears, and I take it seriously. Not that the other musician does not, just we hear music in different keys. Perhaps the true missed opportunity was within my own heart. My need to lead overshadowed my need to follow.
In my college years, I spent time at the Catholic Church and not being raised in that tradition, I had many questions and misconceptions. The priest encouraged me to focus more on similarities rather than differences. He welcomed questions, urged me to seek divine guidance and form my own opinion. And should we end up opposed on certain matters, respect the fact we approached it with an honest heart and intelligence, not following another’s direction blindly. Too many do, no matter which church doors they walk through. This has served me well in both faith and life in general.
I should heed those words more often and double my efforts where my passion runs deep, embracing our combined strengths and discerning if our differences are truly as far apart as they seem. Yet in all things, keeping the Lord in the center is key.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
When my heart is rattled, I’ve found there is usually more story there. I just couldn’t piece together exactly what held me back. A little sleep and putting pen to paper revealed a lesson yet to be learned.
Reach out to me at John@LiftedKeys.com and tell me your story. I would love to know where and in what way God has guided His words through my pen.
If you like to turn a real page like I do, pick up a copy of Echoes Intertwined or my latest collection, Strings Interwoven. Available at Amazon in print and eBook. Kindly leave a review if you would. I appreciate your comments.