This Week & Beyond...
Back by popular demand...
Okay, maybe that's not totally accurate, however, I'm excited that this week marks the return of Tony & Lisa and their leading of praise & worship at Calvary! Let's all welcome them back and pray for them as they prepare. As we're all aware, there are plenty of stresses and attacks that come with being involved in music on a Sunday morning. Let's continue to lift up our teams to the Lord!
Kick-Off meeting change of time reminder...
As mentioned in my email last week, there has been a change to the time of our meeting this month. We will now be meeting on Saturday, September 24th, from 7pm - 9pm. Mary, Will, and Elyse will be there to minister to us!
Agenda: Welcome, sing, teach, questions, eat!!
If you haven't confirmed your attendance to the event, please visit "Planning Centre" and do so at your earliest convenience. Thank you!!
by Mark Sooy, Hopkins, Michigan, www.MarkSooy.com
For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)
It was a gift: a vintage motorcycle with just over 20,000 miles. I couldn't believe it. Those who saw it were amazed at the great condition it was in after 32 years. I was excited just to ride it, and even more excited to get out on the open road.
But within the week, this vintage bike succumbed to what any machine this old would face -- a breakdown in the electrical system. It's inevitable. Over the years the insulation deteriorates, the connections rust, and, finally, the electrical circuits cease to function.
And so it began. Taking off parts and searching for the problem. Looking for parts (which are not easy to find for a bike so old). Ordering the parts and waiting. Hotwiring the bike so I could ride while I waited for the parts. Tinkering. Polishing. Reading manuals.
Then it hit me. My life had been altered by this motorcycle. I woke up in the morning thinking about it. I worked on it whenever I had the chance. I ignored other responsibilities to ride or repair it. I gave my kids jobs polishing chrome and fetching tools. I drifted off to sleep thinking of what I could do the next day. Frankly, I was distracted.
Distraction is a normal part of our human condition. Because of this event, though, I began to think through the other times when something or someone distracted me from the routines of life and responsibility. Maybe you've had this happen: a new song, a new instrument, a new baby, a difficult situation at work or at home or at church that consumes you, and a myriad of other possibilities. Why does this happen? What do we do about it? When we are distracted, how do we recover?
It seems to me that there are basically two overall points to consider. The first may seem obvious, but it is worth repeating. When we notice our distraction, we must discipline ourselves to return to the priorities that we had previously set for our lives. Of course, that assumes you have set overall life priorities and are living a life that is more than just moving from distraction to distraction. The overall set of priorities from a biblical viewpoint is, in order: 1) our relationship with God through Christ; 2) our family relationships, and; 3) everything else (work, church, motorcycles...). Reminding ourselves of this three-fold priority system will help break the hold our new distraction might have on our time and our energy. Returning to a daily time with Scripture and in prayer, engaging our families in conversation and listening to their thoughts are the first points of re-establishing the proper life-priorities for each day.
The second overall point about distractions might be a new thought for some. Sometimes distractions are God-given. I'm not suggesting that God tempts us through a distraction, but rather that He is placing a sort of "circuit breaker" into our lives. These distractions might be gifts that jar us from complacency, or give us a much-needed break from a weight of responsibility. The distraction, in fact, may pull us away from our routine. In this way, God offers us the opportunity to reconsider our priorities and recommit to them. He graciously gives us time to recover from overbearing obligations and concerns that have dragged us down. And His intention in this is growth-deeper commitments, new focus, new energy.
Those of us involved in the worship ministries in our churches aren't exempt from such distractions. In fact, we may need to be reminded more often than others to keep our priorities straight.
So whether it is a bike, a boat, a new instrument, a family crisis, or whatever -- allow the distraction to be an opportunity for growth. Place that distraction in its proper perspective, and live life fully in the grace of God.
1. What was a major distraction that you have encountered?
2. Has it ever occurred to you before that a distraction like those described here could be a gift from God to help reorient our lives? How could this understanding help you in the future?