Thinking outside the box
Hello to all of you reading this post. I'm praying that you are well and enjoying this Summer season, at least to some degree!
There's been so much to ingest during this year that many people are overwhelmed. Fortunately, my wife and I stopped watching the news several years ago because we felt that there was too much media manipulation going on. The price for cable TV was getting too high as well. Despite our best efforts, the news seems to catch up with us anyway.
We're now into about our 4th month of the Covid-19 pandemic that has fundamentally changed almost everything we do in our day-to-day lives. Each day seems to bring a new requirement that I typically hear secondhand. Sometimes the changes happen hourly. What a Schlamassel! - (German for mess)
With all of this change occurring, most of us have had to 'think outside the box' from what our 'normal' routines were not very long ago.
Since April of this year, the worship team I play on has been recording Sunday morning worship time on Monday nights. We have no congregation and have to rehearse everything when we get there. You can see a picture below of how lonely it looks when we're there except for the one photo cutout.
At first it was very challenging because without the interaction of people in the pews (chairs), it was hard to feel enthused. It was also challenging to imagine how we would come across to a crowd that we couldn't hear or see.
Surprisingly or maybe not, somewhere along the way that changed. It had to have been the Lord and the Holy Spirit showing up when we were doing worship. Nothing else could explain it. In the book of Psalms, Chapter 100, verse 2, David has written:
2 Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
You see, when we humble ourselves and worship God even when nobody is around, He shows up! That is so awesome and wonderful at the same time!
Our empty church building during one of Worship Team recordings
The Bible says that nothing escapes the eyes of God and that He knows all things, even the deepest intents of the heart.
Proverbs 15, verse 3 says:
3 The Lord is watching everywhere,
keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
This is very comforting for those who believe but troubling for those who don't. But, it really is an encouragement to keep pressing on in this 'brave new world' we live in.
In fact, I'm having conversations with musician friends about how we operate in this new world we're living in. That could include Zoom sessions, virtual recording and mastering, and whatever else we can brainstorm.
You see, God plants desires deep within the human heart that may as yet be unfulfilled dreams. To one He may give the desire to write music; to another the desire to establish a new type of ministry; and yet to another the desire to bless people through His word, the Bible.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that he planted almost 2,000 years ago and encouraged them about Spiritual gifts. 1st Corinthians 12, verses 4 to 6 say:
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit
is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service,
but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways,
but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
Let's pray about our gifts and let the Holy Spirit help us to think 'outside the box' for how we can love and help others during these unprecedented times. It's truly a joy to dream big!