THIS year I made sure I remembered to bring my iPod docking station to have plenty of volume for the songs I planned the women to sing during the devotions I was to give. I planned so thoroughly – I thought – until I dug into my suitcase on Friday night at the retreat center and realized what I HAND’T packed: my ipod with the music!
Panic hit me like a hammer, and chagrin at realizing I’d left it on the clock radio charger beside my bed that morning. Humbled, I pressed into God – the only thing a meaning-seeking, analytical, faithful servant (see my tongue in cheek now, but then I was serious ) could do.
The retreat theme was “God is Able.” Was he?
“Maybe, Jesus, you just want to hear our voices? Maybe, God, you’re teaching me that Jesus is enough, and we don’t have to sing to hear your Spirit. Or maybe, God, you just want us to hear you singing over US like in Zephaniah 3:17?”
Humbled up, I told the prayer team my dumb mistake. “Hey,” one of the women I didn’t know smilingly cried,” I have my iPod. I may have the song you need! What is it called?”
My face lit up like the Verde Valley sunset outside, and I told her I’d get her the name, for in all honesty, I couldn’t remember it off the top of my head. I checked my handouts and told her I needed “How Great is Our God.” She wasn’t sure she had it because as she advised, she regularly dumps old music to ad new.
Sigh. Okay, God, I thought, I’m still prepared to believe you want just our voices accapella, or you just want to sing over us . . . “ I knew it would be fine either way, and even thought how much better it would be without the accompaniment.
I was so much in that frame of mind, in fact, that the next morning when another prayer team member, Kathy, extended a Cd into my hand, I almost refused it. She was dumbfounded herself. “last week I was in the Christian bookstore buying CD’s. I hadn’t planned to buy this one, but I saw it and the thought hit me that I should get it along with the others. I really don’t know why I did.” Right in my face was Chris Tomlin’s CD with the title “How Great is Our God!”
I still can hardly believe that I was so caught up in the “Oh, it will be okay” reverie I almost refused to borrow the CD! Reality hit me that God was putting manna in my hand. Was I going to be “so heavenly minded that I’m no earthly good?” I laughed out loud as I spoke that chuckling “tsk, tsk” from the Holy Spirit, and yes I incorporated the humorous story as the introduction, and we sang along to the miracle CD on Saturday morning.
Sunday morning was a different story. It was 7:15, the devotions started at 7:30,and I still didn’t have the final song I wanted to use that morning. Written on the handouts was a song I couldn’t do accapella – I tried, and it wasn’t going to be pretty. “Okay,” I sighed, “we can just say the words. . . . or maybe I can find a different song.”
The worship leader had some CD’s in a stack near the CD player, so I threw one in and frantically started skipping through tracks. At track 5 I caught my breath.: “Be Unto Our God.” I love that worship song, a hauntingly beautiful waltz tempo. A thought leaped into my mind: “Could I? Do I dare?”
My message revolved around my blog post entitled “My Father’s Sweater,” all about standing at my father’s workbench wearing my Dad’s old brown sweater (and yes I’d remembered to bring a brown sweater), and how we now stand at our heavenly Father’s workbench robed in Christ’s righteousness. I set my mind to ask the women to do something abandoned and silly and daring, and to heck with the consequences.
““I know you’re Lutherans,” I began, ”but you’re loosed Lutherans. Did any of you ever stand or dance on your father’s feet?” I asked, and at a few nodded heads and quiet affirmations told me I was okay to go for the audacious. “Then I want you to get up, move around so you have enough space to move, because we’re going to dance on our Father’s feet!”
The lovely melody lifted from the speakers, and oh, my heart raced! Lovely daughters of the King of Kings began to sway, twirl, spin and waltz in the arms of their God! Tears flowed, heads lifted in a wave of validation affirmation, invitation celebration!
“This was the best mistake I ever made,” I gratefully prayed as I danced along and enjoyed the laughter of Heaven. If I’d remembered my iPod, none of these miracles would have happened.
“Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Highest praises, honor and glory be unto Your name, be unto Your name.”
Note to self:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in All things at ALL times, having ALL that yo need, you will abound in every good work. 1 Corinthians 9:8
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.! Amen. Ephesians 3:20
A “. . . BUT . . .” to move: God, you have such a sense of humor and fun, and you can do SO much more than I could ever even think to do by my own efforts – definitely more than my mistakes! Step in, take this dance of my latest mistake in __________________________________________________________________ and make it a beautiful waltz of your Glory and goodness!