Thursday, December 07, 2006

testings will come

Yesterday was one of those days that ssssttttrreeetttchhhed my patience and leadership abilities. When I think of the things that happened, I think I'm being giving a practical exam in my spiritual skills thus far. That can be exciting, but I look back over the day this morning and think, "how did I do that?" I got almost no sleep the night before, so that set the day up. I met with my Wednesday 12-step group, and these ladies are the top, but they have a hard time staying on subject, and I had to leave in an hour. We did finally wind our way through Step 3-turning our lives and wills entirely over to Christ-and there was an unexpected bit in that. One of the gals realized she needed to do that. More importantly, she had to be confronted about a situation that required it. She needed to end a relationship that was a source of much confusion, anger and grief in her life, yet this is a person she dearly loves and wants to help. Still, in the relief of her conversation, this one picture stood out so very vividly to me, and I'm not one to confront a person. Yet I did, and she agreed. Whew.

I had to run directly home to take my mother-in-law to the doctor, and in between this running I needed to contact clients about artwork and receive messages. In the past irritation would have done me in. I love my family, but I hate doctor visits, being a runner, a waiter, a gopher, all of that, and I simply had to in this case. There was no one else. I had to remind myself what was most important to do, and to serve my mother-in-law was most important. We had to go to the grocery store after the doctor, and once again, when it took 10 minutes for her to pre-write a check and find her discount card I was faced with rising irritation, but I quelled it.

Upon coming home I wanted to nap but couldn't, as I had to prepare worship music for the evening, wash dishes, get a walk in, eat at some point, and do things in the house. Once again, it seemed like the day threatened to pull my schedule rug out from under me. Add to this an underlying tension about a situation I have to deal with and focus my energy on going to worship practice at 8 pm, which is basically my book and pj time. For the old girl this seemed an impossibility, and we're not done yet.

The evening came and I had to load the car, pick up my partner for worship, drive to the church, unload the car and set up, and try the music. Only tonight instead of two people we had three. None of the music was working, and our third person was an older gentleman who sang very well and played guitar very well, but in a style neither Luke nor I could deal with immediately. This man was decidedly old school country and western, which is fine, but he was a solo act. Seemed like he managed to touch every nerve that was becoming more raw as the night wore on and we could not find workable music trying to accommodate him. Finally I deferred to my partner, who was exhausted and by now red-faced from trying to strum like our Willy Nelson. We didn't leave practice until 9:30, which I guess isn't bad, except that given the day I was ready to collapse. Our final song was Holy, Holy, Holy, and we were told the church team was practicing upstairs, and was in prayer while we were singing the venerable old hymn in the basement hall. The sound traveled up to the upstairs team as they were asking God to bless their time. One CR leader told us how wonderful it was for them to pray with that music wafting up the stairs. If we only could keep in mind who was watching and hearing us every minute! I think I passed my test.


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