I admit it. I’m a band nerd. I take private lessons on my instrument, participate in every possible band opportunity available and practice on average 900 minutes a month. So needless to say I was quite excited when the time came around for the band trip.
But, I wanted something different this band trip. I didn’t just want to have fun. I didn’t want to just perform well at the different schools on our tour. I didn’t just want to do well at the provincial festival we were competing in.
I wanted to encounter God.
I wanted to take advantage of the difference in environment, in the opportunity for fellowship. To take a chance to ditch habits and schedules and concentrate on what really mattered.
I wanted proof. Proof that God was real. Proof that the Spirit was alive and moving. Proof that I wasn’t believing in a fantasy.
And proof I got.
I always understood the concept that whatever we do, we should do as worship. But I didn’t believe it. While the logic existed, the practicality lacked. I tried hard to really let it sink in, but it never seemed to work. Chores still seemed like chores, homework still seemed like homework. Even things I enjoyed, like music, I still had a hard time connecting the physical enjoyment with that of spiritual outpouring.
But the band trip changed that.
Our band director, Mr. Leitz, is a truly wonderful man. I have come across of small group of select people that just seem to breath the love and joy of God in absolutely everything they do, and he is definitely part of at group.
Anyways, the morning before our festival performance, we had a worship session, and it was excellent. As people walked in from their cabins, they would join in, and by the time breakfast came around, the Spirit seemed thick in the air. (As a side note, I have to add that I have always connected with this type of worship. Ever since I learnt my first few chords, lifting up songs of worship has always seemed second nature).
After breakfast, Mr. Leitz, had organized a rehearsal at the main lodge. He had said something to the extent of taking the worship from earlier on in the morning, and continuing it in the concert band. When I heard this, I almost inwardly scoffed, as to this point in time that had always seemed far off to me. But then something changed. Before we started the rehearsal, Mr. Leitz prayed, and something inside me switched. Something clicked. It seemed like a valve that had long been wanting to open finally did so. I felt joy rise in me, a joy that I had not felt for a long time. After that, every musical phrase was no longer just about notes, articulation, intonation, dynamics, etc, it was about simply offering up a beautiful sound to God, a Holy incense worthy of His majesty. And that’s what made the difference.
When it came time for our performance, I felt a calm and a peace. I felt I could say with confidence that “Jesus is Here.” Joy seemed abundant, and power of the Holy Spirit seemed to fill the room.
And it still does. Today is does, and tomorrow it will. I know it now. I now how it feels to live a life of worship. I also know that while it seems perfect now, it will seem hard again later. I know that harder times will come. But I feel assured, because I know God is with us.
If you’re wondering how I got to this point, I couldn’t tell you. Nor could I fully explain the feeling that seems to accompany my thoughts right now. But what I can tell you is keep trying. Keep breathing. Keep believing. But don’t do it aimlessly. In fact, don’t do it with with any goal in mind either. Do it for Jesus. Do it because he loves you. Do it because he great, almighty and powerful. Most importantly, do it because he hung on a cross for you.
Do it for Jesus.