For many years, seventeen, in fact, I served in a capacity at church to which I was both uncalled and unqualified. It was beyond stressful--and while I improved at it, I topped out eventually, even though I practiced faithfully, because I just wasn't GOOD at it.
The service (piano playing, if you were wondering) was truly needed, and I didn't say no, so I don't blame anyone for that. I learned things about myself that I guess I could not have learned any other way. If God had wanted me in that position, He would have given me the talents required, and the emotional abilities to faithfully serve. There was no joy in serving Jesus in this area. There was only anxiety, and eventual ill health.
I was performing a job that was not mine. In fact, I've taken on a series of obligations and expectations in my life that weren't mine. Most of the time, no one asked me to. I just saw what was needed, and did it.
A very handy person to have in your ministry.
A very unhappy person to have in your ministry.
Why? Because the Church is not supposed to be about round pegs smashed down to fit into square holes. Burned-out bodies just going through the motions.
I Corinthians 12 says God distributes the gifts to the body of believers--not equally, perhaps, in our earthly eyes, but justly. According to His inscrutable plan. But nowhere are we guaranteed a person qualified to fit every position in our specific ministry plans.
When I finally had my first breakdown, and we left our home church, guess what? Someone else eventually filled the multiple roles Mike and I had left. It took a long time for me to forgive myself for leaving a job I was never meant to have.
My job, then and now and throughout endless ages to come, is the task of all Creation. To to sing praise to the Creator.
But all the bits and pieces of this amazing world don't all sing the same melody line. Instead, a cacophonous, spontaneous, glorious jumble of a million million voices fill the skies. The whole world sings His matchless worth.
The mountains and the hills break forth with singing.
The trees shout and clap their hands.
The flowers dance and bob in time with the breeze.
The oceans partner with the shores in perfect harmony.
The sound of singing planets is different from the voice of birds and the croak of frogs. And the tune the wind whispers is not the one the clouds cry, or the sound the rainbow streams.
Creation sings with everything in its being, with its whole uncomplicated heart, unable to do anything but shout GLORY and HOSANNA and AWESOME is our GOD. And I raise my music along with the rest--only don't ask me to use the piano as my instrument to do so!
Yes, my music is my voice (in a choir or congregation, not a solo).
But there is also music in my creativity (in the craft room, not the kitchen).
My music is in my ability to turn my business talents into funds that further the work of the Lord.
My music is to love my husband with abandon, committed to his good with every fiber of my being.
My music is to mother my special children with kindness, compassion, strength and support.
My music is to explain, educate and equip the world for my extraordinary children, with humor and grace.
My being sings best when I am allowed and allowing myself to be me. My passions, my heart, my talents, who I am. Not who anyone else wishes me to be. Not the perfect pastor's daughter I still expect myself to be. My narrative. My own words. My own tune.
I am just a flower in a field, dancing before the Creator, petals spread to the sun. Doing what flowers do best. Exactly what they were intended for.
"I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live. As long as I have breath, I will sing unto the Lord." Psalm 104:33