Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lessons in Humility

    Ok, I admit it -- I love to sing -- and have been known to burst out into song at the drop of a hat. and I also admit that I love to sing on stage with my chorus or choir or praise team at church. I am not a soloist -- no illusions in my mind about having a great solo voice -- but if someone is singing the melody, I always sing the harmony part.  I sing tenor in the church choir, alto with the praise team, and bass with my barbershop chorus. Hand me a microphone at church and I am ready! I've been singing harmony since about fifth grade when a few girls from my church started a little quartet -- that's about 55 years. So I am quite comfortable on stage, and almost always say "yes" when I am asked to sing at church.  Singing fills my heart with joy, especially when I am singing to the Lord.
    "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

  However, to be honest, sometimes I need a little reminder that it is not all about ME.  And this is the season for some lessons in humility.
  First little jolt was when my chorus was singing at the Biltmore House for the Candlelight Christmas Tour. That is always a great honor, and an opportunity to sing about the birth of Christ in a public place.  I was proud to be there, and getting ready to sing, then I missed a step and fell down, right in front of everyone. Good news was that I didn't break anything, and I didn't tear a hole in the knee of my pants, but it was very embarrassing and humbling. 

My daughter and I stayed overnight in Asheville, then got up early the next morning so we could drive back in time to sing with the praise team at church. We made it in plenty of time and I thought I did a fine job singing my part -- until I found out that I had forgotten to turn on the microphone. Obviously my part wasn't as important as I thought. 

Then on Sunday night, our church choir presented the musical worship celebration that we had been practicing for months.  I was supposed to sing one song as part of a trio, and I was especially looking forward to it because my young friend had returned from his military service in Egypt in time to be a part of the trio.I knew it would be a beautiful song -- our close harmony sounded so good in rehearsal. But a few days before the service, I came down with laryngitis.  I kept hoping that my voice would be back by Sunday night, but by Sunday morning, it was evident that it was not going to happen.  So a replacement was found, and I just sat on the back row of the choir, croaking along the best I could.

And it occured to me -- it's not all about me -- it is about Him.  I was easily replaced and the worship and praise still happened. In fact, the laryngitis was almost a gift, because it made me slow down and take a  break from all the activities I had planned to do that week. I was able to write cards and wrap gifts and even read a little instead of rushing out every evening to sing someplace. 

I am back to my regular voice now, and again bursting out with songs.  But I hope I remember Who I sing for and take time to listen to the words I sing. 
"From Bethlehem to Calvary, 
Jesus paid the cost,
 for love went all the way 
               from the cradle to the cross"                                                                                                       

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