the nature guide

A lot of work went into the worship set which included multiple songs and Scripture readings that fit perfectly with the established theme and message of the evening. The worship team and I had practiced for days, perfecting strumming patterns, transitions, and the overall flow for the evening.  We knew what we were doing and how we were going to do it.

I was the worship leader for the group, and as the leader, I was ready to usher our group into the presence of God single handedly, with some help from the worship team behind me.  Bring it on, youth group, I’ve got this!

Then, thirty minutes before we began my best laid plans, our teacher for the night told me that he just changed his message.  He explained to me that he would be addressing the issues of homosexuality and bullying, as far too many reports of bullying related suicides had been in the news during the past week.  He described that he would compare and contrast the typical Christian response to these issues with Jesus’ responses to social outcasts.

Shoot.  My perfectly laid plans did not fit.  The topics presented in the set I had chosen would feel out of place and disjointed.  I instantly knew the changes that needed to be made – the new songs to sing and Scripture to read.  However, did I have time to change them?  And would the new content be good enough to display my talent?

All that was in me said, “No, there’s no time!  You’d not only have to communicate the changes with the band, but also practice them in order to sound good, not to mention needing to change the slideshow and print more songs.”

But at the same time, I felt a calm presence surround me and I sensed these words in my heart:

“Yes, there is time.  You can do this because it’s what I want you to do.  Do you remember what this is about?

You are the nature guide, escorting people on a journey of discovery.  You point out plants and animals, drawing attention to the awesome natural beauty found along the way.

Point to Me, help others see Me in a way they haven’t seen Me before, not you.

This journey is not about the guide’s perfect plans.  People rarely care what the guide looks like or sounds like.  In fact, many never remember the guide, but they remember the nature revealed along the way.

Reveal Me and My glory, not yours.

And when I am in control, there is always time.”

There was time.  The team and I missed the game at the beginning of youth group, but we followed the Spirit’s prompting and led the group into a time of worship that was God-inspired, letting the Holy Spirit do His work in those walking with us on this journey of faith.

Where do you need to let go of your perfectly laid plans to let the Holy Spirit work?