Thursday, October 20, 2011

To Sing or Not to Sing, To Bless or Be Blessed

Sometimes, I think too much. I call it brain overload.

I sat in church the other Sunday thinking about how much I miss the choir. We no longer have a choir so only one or two people sing on the praise team. I’m not one of them. I love to sing, I’m not horrendous, but since I’ve been at our current church I’ve only sang a solo a couple of times in 11 years. Both times I was not asked, I nervously volunteered. I discovered in the past that when I don’t sing solos often, I lose confidence. My knee starts to shake so I leaned on that leg and the other starts to shake. Pretty soon, I look more like an Elvis impersonator than a solo artist. Maybe that's where he got his moves, stagefright. Nah.
I know I don’t sing as good as some people so I think maybe no one wants to hear me sing.  It probably comes from as a kid when I would attempt a song, someone always thought it funny to say, oh, please spare us. For shy insecure me, it wasn’t funny, it hurt. So I developed stage fright or an inferiority complex. Or both.
In seventh grade, my teacher gave me a nice confidence boost. I tried out for the talent show mimicking a song. She asked me to sing for her and said, you’re not bad, go ask a couple of your friends and we’ll work up an act. I became a shining star. Actually, I was a saloon girl channeling Debbie Reynolds in How the West Was Won. The memory stayed with me. It really was the most fun I ever had in grade school. Most of the time the kids teased me for being too skinny. Someone actually said I'm good enough, not bad, or maybe felt sorry for me.  Probably the latter but I prefer to pretend I'm not that bad. Our trio even tied for third place. What I lack in musical ability, I make up in drama. I love acting. I can pretend to be outgoing saloon girl that belts out a tune.

Occasionally, as I sing in church, I wonder if anyone hears me. I know my voice is okay, I hear every off key note. Mine or someone else's. Maybe that's why I'm so critical of myself.  As I sing to the Lord, thoughts run through my mind. I confess I am a little crazy. Do I sound good, is someone being blessed? Or cursed? And even if there is no choir, I should sing as if we’re one big choir. But I have to adjust my thinking many times. Because, instead of singing to God, I am too busy thinking about singing and being heard. Or not heard. And I wonder if the people around enjoy my voice, or hate it. I know, it’s such a fine line between being a blessing, annoying, or conceited. Why would I be conceited when I’m not great? So I think about these things. Stupid, I know when I should just enjoy worshipping God.

So, this particular Sunday, as my mind is distracted by thinking and (this is an ongoing process) I work on my attitude. I choose to sing to God, instead of trying to sing perfect and better or louder, I try to blend with the congregation like we're the choir. I think to myself, we may not be in the choir loft but I can sing like we are. And I want to sing to You Lord. Not whether man thinks I’m good or perfect or awful. But, I really want to praise and worship God in my imperfection. And that’s what I try do. I blend my voice with the voices behind me, beside me and I don’t sing for praise but to praise.  
When church is over, out of the blue, this sweet man in front of me turns around and says, “You have a beautiful voice.”  What a blessing I receive that day. My deepest desire is to have a beautiful voice to bless others, but instead, I sing my blessings to God with the voice I have, and then what does He do? He blesses me.

My conclusion is this, my attitude must be in line with God's will, His perfect purpose for me, so that whatever I do, I do it for the Lord, whatever my  talent, I use it for God’s glory. God can bless others through me when God is the heart of my worship.

If you want to be a blessing, bless God, and if your heart is pure and your intentions right, others will be blessed as well. And so will you.

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