I was sure of myself. A lot of work went into this thing, that day and multiple days before it. I practiced for days with my guitar, perfecting my strumming patterns and style of playing. I knew what I was doing and how I was going to do it. I was the leader of worship, and I was going to lead our group into the presence of God. This was the most I had prepared others and myself for worship at high school group. I was set. Bring on youth group!
The two hours before high school group started, I co-led a senior bible study with our high school seniors and college freshman. We ended a half an hour early, so I got a chance to connect with the youth pastor about youth group coming up in 30 minutes. He explained to me that we would be addressing the issues of bullying, homosexuality, and suicide that is associated with the two. He told me the news had reported that in the last 5 to 6 weeks, four adolescents had committed suicide based on bullying because of their homosexuality and bullying from others. He described that he will compare and contrast the typical Christian response to these issues with the stories of Jesus & the leper and Jesus & the woman caught in adultery.
Crap. My perfectly planned and practiced worship set does not fit. The topics presented within it would feel out of place and I knew what I had to change, but did I have time to do it? Did my co-leader know the songs and activities I knew I had to include? The Psalm I was going to include would take us somewhere we weren’t going. I knew another one that would fit better, but was there time?
All that was in me said, “No, there’s no time! You’d have to change the presentation, print more songs, find the right Psalm, communicate these changes, and practice the additions with the band. Plus you still have a 15 minute leader meeting before group starts!”
But I felt a calm presence within me saying, “Yes, there is time. You can do this because it’s what I want you to do. Remember what this is about. Remember you are a worship leader. Remember you are the nature guide on a trail, walking people into the journey of discovering nature, pointing out plants and animals to the others along the journey, displaying the awesome beauty of nature. Remember this journey is not about the perfect planning of the guide and no one cares how great the guide looks or sounds. Those on the journey do not remember the guide, but they do remember the nature revealed by the guide along the way. Remember, I am still in control. Yes, there is time for My will.”
There was time. I missed the game at the beginning of group, but I followed the Spirit’s prompting and led the group into a time of worship that was God-inspired and let the Holy Spirit do his work in those walking with me on this journey of faith.
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