Thursday, May 19, 2011

God's Plans

"But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
   will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
   I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.’”

 10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land."  Jonah 2:9-10

The story of Jonah is one that almost everyone is familiar with- very familiar with.  We all shake our head in dismay when we read again of Jonah running in the other direction from God, and then we all laugh a bit when he suddenly finds himself in the last place he wanted to be- courtesy of a large fish.

It's not near so funny when we find ourselves in the exact same position.  

For a good year now, my Pastor has been after me to give a shot to playing the drums during our worship services.  It may actually be longer than that, now that I think of it.  I've often thought about spending some time playing around on the drums to see if I can even play them in the style that our church prefers... I play the extra percussion normally.  I play congas and bongos and tambourine and a cabasa on rare occasions.  But playing the full out drums has not been my desire.  At all.  So over the last year, while I thought about practicing, I never actually did.  I would literally just think about doing so, and running through it in my mind I would think that I really can't play like our drummers do.  Literally, about a month ago, I finally just decided that I was not the person they were looking for.  The problem was that a few of our drummers were getting exceedingly busy, and there were just going to be services where there was no drummer.

So a month ago, in my head, I had it all planned out that some time I was going to pull either Pastor or our worship leader aside and just let them know that I really didn't think that I was going to be able to play the drums, and move on, because it was stressing me out.  Every time I went to church I would be lightly panicking on the inside that no drummers would show up, and I would be told to jump on. (For the record, yes, I've played drums in the past, I just prefer percussion.)  So there I was, this mindset that the whole issue was over for me, and then Mother's Day Sunday came along.  It was a nice day, I was in a good mood, and I was looking forward to worship that morning.  And then our drummer didn't show up, and we went from one slow worshipful song to another, and then I started arguing with God.  If we were going to do any kind of upbeat music that morning, I was the only one who could make that happen.  I started sweating just thinking about it, and I literally argued with myself and God because I knew that if I did it once, that was it, I was in like flynn, and that was not where I wanted to be.

And we all see what happened with Jonah, that God simply did not take no for an answer.  I have no doubt that Jonah had all the great excuses as to why he went the other way.  I had my own long list of excuses as well, except that when God wants you to do something, He tends to make it happen, regardless of your reasons for why not. 

And I watched myself tell the worship leader that I could jump on the drums, and just like that, there I was.  Seriously, the last place I wanted to be, and there I was!  And with God's great sense of humor, I've pretty much been there ever since. After that one time Sunday morning,  I thought, okay, got it out, and now it won't be a big deal, and now no drummers have been there twice, and guess what that means for me?

But you know what I've noticed... that slightly panicky feeling I've been having for months?  Gone.  Completely gone.  I don't need to panic that I'm going to be thrown on the drums and mess it all up.  While I may not be as talented as others, I can get the job done, and I know that now.  And while the whole big thing is a great mystery to me, for some reason, that's where God wants me to be able to be.  And I'm certainly not going to be able to continue doing it without Him.  Drumming is exhausting for one, and two, I have a lot of work to do to get to the caliber that is acceptable in my mind.   I find it amusing to think that one month ago I was at the stubborn point of "nope, not going to do it" to literally being thrown into the fire. 

When Jonah ended up where he didn't want to be, a whole city was saved from being wiped off the map.  A whole city repented for their evil ways, and while I certainly don't think that my playing the drums will have that profound effect, it certainly does have me curious as to what lies ahead.  God has His reasons, and in His timing, they will be revealed.  But until then, I can be obedient and be exactly where He wants me to be.  It baffles me, but I can be there none the less. 

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