Monday, October 21, 2013

Do Not Despise the Process

My new favorite show is The Voice.  I love it because it's really all about the voice, not about the looks. I got this idea in my head that gee, maybe I should audition for the show. I even chose my audition song! I practiced it a few times and thought, well, that's not too bad!

Three things prevented me from actually pursuing this.

Number 1: I don't audition well. Somehow, in my dreamworld, I'd forgotten that. Just about every time I audition for a musical, I blow the vocal audition. I get so nervous that my pitch is off.  I forget everything I ever learned-all the technique, all the breathing, all out the window. 

Number 2: There is a process. Well, yeah! Did I think I would just practice my song, and show up on stage in front of the coaches and an audience and sing my little ditty? And they would all turn around and fight over me? Ha! No, there is a process. You first have to send a video, then attend an open audition. The audition is "a capella" (without accompaniment), and you have to prepare two songs. If you are called back to the next round, you have to have three songs prepared, which can be accompanied. Only then do you get to go to the live stage with the coaches. It's a process.

Number 3:  Simply...what was I thinking???

It's that way in ministry. When we hear the call of God on our lives, we get excited and want to jump right in and serve-which is great! However, too often we want to jump in at the end-the deep end, instead of testing the waters at the edge, or starting in the "baby pool". We're too old for the baby pool! We already know how to swim! We think we can just dive right off the high dive without proper training and preparation, without following the process.

What we fail to realize is that the process is there for our protection! Imagine if The Voice let anyone take the stage just because that person said they could sing? What if they couldn't?What if God allowed us to get up in front of 5000 people because we had a call to preach or teach, and we had no idea what to say or how to confidently take charge of our audience, or failed to engage them? We would stand there after everyone left (which would most likely be very quickly) and say, "What was I thinking???"

There is a process, and part of the process is preparation-and learning. Learning to prepare, review and rehearse our material, learning how to engage an audience, learning how to be poised and confident. Learning and honing our craft. Perhaps taking classes, courses, lessons, maybe finding a mentor. And of course, immersing ourselves in God's Word. Just like swimming, we need to work our way up to the high dive. I dove off the high dive once...notice, I said once.  It hurt my head.  Yes, I worked up to it, but I wasn't properly prepared. There is a technique, which I was unaware of. Diving in to the deep end of ministry or anything, for that matter, without knowing the proper techniques and without having been trained can prove to be painful, or even disastrous. 

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin (Zech 4:10, NLT). God is delighted that we want to serve Him! Whatever place you are in now, know that you have not been forgotten. Do not despise the process! If He has called you, He will bring you to the places He wants you to serve. It won't be a big stage-at least not right away. He may call you to that place after a time of preparation, but He might not. Will you be content to serve unnoticed? Are you willing to be taught? Are you willing to wait? That's the person God is looking for. Be that person! And don't look for me on The Voice. I won't be there! But you will find me cheerfully serving as a singer on my church worship team. And knowing that God knows my name is much more desirable than fame.

Blessing Along the Path, 

Song of the Day:
I Am Not Forgotten (Israel Houghton)

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