My Fuel

Since I am a musician and worship leader, I spend quite a bit of time on the stage. Most of the time, it is fulfilling and quite amazing, but sometimes, it’s a bit draining. In those moments when I find myself veering toward empty in my fuel tank, I rely on being fed by others.
What I mean here is that I often seek out a concert, conference, or some other activity to renew my focus and sense of vitality. In the early days of my ministry, I would often seek out a quiet corner in our local coffee shop and devour Scripture for hours at a time. I had hours of homework left to do and music to choose for Sunday services, but when I felt I needed some energy pumped into me, I would purposely get away to spend time in the Word. Why couldn’t I do it at home, you might ask? Well, at home there were just too many distractions. Being at the coffee shop allowed me uninterrupted time with my Creator.
Just a few weeks ago, I was sensing I was nearing burn-out. I had just moved out of a challenging summer with some issues relating to the availability of the other church musicians. For weeks on end, I found myself leading from the piano. Now, like I said before, I find my music ministry very fulfilling, but when you are doing it week in and week out for quite awhile, you begin to find yourself on autopilot.
So I was both relieved and excited to see the upcoming event announced on my Google calendar: Women of Faith Conference! I was eager to spend an entire weekend devoted to praising God through corporate worship and hearing from some well-respected speakers. The theme for this particular Women of Faith event was “From Survival to Revival.” Ha! I thought. I think they designed this weekend just for me! As I had predicted, the speakers were great and the music was amazing. I was able to just sit and drink it all in! I had some wonderful moments in quiet reflection with my Creator in addition to meeting some fantastic women in the seats next to me.
On the way home, I looked at my watch a bit anxiously. I had agreed to host a little hang-out night at my place once I returned home from the conference. My guests were aware of my weekend away and had agreed to be flexible. The plan was to call or text everyone once I was comfortable at home and ready for them to come over. Even though I had a wonderfully relaxing time at Women of Faith, I was a bit frazzled by the next thing on the horizon. For a brief moment, I considered a selfish need for solitude and a bit of physical activity. We had been sitting all day, and all I wanted to do was go for a walk in the beautiful fall twilight. But I knew I had company coming, and I couldn’t put it off.
So instead of a walk, I prepared a quick dinner and called my guests as I ate. In a matter of moments, my home was filled with laughter and good conversation. For the next five-and-a-half hours, we enjoyed ourselves, and I was shocked when I realized it was after 11:00 p.m.! I had to lead worship the next morning, and this realization alone just made me feel plain exhausted. I was relieved when my guests began to recognize the late hour and began to get ready to leave. As everyone departed, I looked around and noticed that the kitchen needed some serious tidying. So with a rag in hand and the garbage can nearby, I set the kitchen to rights. Then I turned toward the piano. I realized that I hadn’t practiced all weekend, and if I wanted to eliminate any potential distractions in worship the next morning, I figured I should probably run through the songs.
Needless to say, it was a very early wake-up call the next morning as I struggled to keep my eyes open. I figured it would be at least a three-cups-of-coffee day for me if I wanted to make it through an 8:30 sound check and a 9:30 worship service. To make matters even more challenging, we had a guest pastor booked for that morning, I felt like I at least needed to put on a positive leadership front so nothing would slip out of control. I had to stay alert.
In the end, I had nothing to worry about. After one cup of coffee, the sound check began, and I immediately felt energized by the focus and determination delivered by my fellow worship team participants. One of the women had also been at Women of Faith with me, and I knew she was tired too. But even so, the team sang with passion and beauty. As we prayed after our sound check, I specifically asked the Holy Spirit to come and wake us up even more! And boy did He respond!
As we sang “Revelation Song,” an anthem that continually astounds me with its capacity to bring me before the Throne of Grace, I felt a heightened response from our team and the congregation. Apparently, I was not the only one to encounter this sensation. The pastor relayed that He had felt drawn into worship as we sang that particular song, and he shared that with the rest of the congregation during his message. I smiled with joy when I heard that. After the service, the pastor complimented our team on our leadership and said that our pastor was “lucky” to have us as part of his ministry team. Now, I could have taken this to heart and let it swell in my head, but instead, I felt an amazing revival come over me.
The morning’s events had been such a blessing to me and had served to be just the fuel I needed to carry me forward. It had almost been more fuel for me than the conference I had found to be so amazing. It wasn’t that the pastor complimented us or that things had gone so well; it was more the fact that the Holy Spirit had come and made His presence known even in the midst of our/my fatigue. No cup of coffee could ever measure up to the grace and power that came from my time at FRC. I can only hope and pray that next week we can worship with the same energy and vitality, seeking the fuel that only the Spirit can provide.

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