Depending on your point of view, one of the benefits of being a church musician is hearing a worship service several times in one day. Yesterday’s message by Andy McDonald, “Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone,” and Doug Spinella’s testimony (and of course the music) struck a particular nerve in our family, and I had the distinct pleasure of hearing them all several times.
Having recently uprooted our comfortable, mission-minded life in Collegedale to serve here in Orlando, we occasionally go through the “have we made the right decision?” mindset. It is comforting to hear confirmations from others who have gone through the same struggles. It is even more life affirming to hear the scriptural basis for direction in our lives.
The closing anthem presented by our guest guitarist, Kasper Haughton, yesterday was “Where You Go I’ll Go.” I heard this popular song as recorded by Chris Tomlin for the first time last spring when my orchestra was invited to play at the church while we were on our spring tour. I thought it was a catchy tune but didn’t give it much thought afterwards. The song was also in the praise and worship playlist the week I came into town to interview. Here are some of the lyrics:
Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow…
Who you love, I’ll love
How you serve, I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow…
Do you ever play connect-the-dots with God? It’s becoming one of my favorite pastimes.
This week I watched a program from the archives on ABC’s Nightline program called “Does God Have a Future?” One of the sticking points from the skeptics was, even if there was a Creator, the idea that God was interested in what we had for lunch was quite absurd.
The idea of the Creator being a personal God is a scriptural absolute. When God says in Isaiah 43:1, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine,” leaves no amount of guessing. Furthermore, Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to give you hope and a future.” Lastly, one of my favorites from Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”
I am reminded of several of my friends who right now are on the other side of the world in Africa helping orphans. Why not here in Orlando? you say. Well, because God has placed it in their heart that Africa is where He wants them to make a difference.
So my question for you is, What is God calling you to do out of your comfort zone? Live comfortably in the American dream? Doubtful. Follow the whisperings behind your ear? Probably. Connect the dots in your life; He’s speaking to you right now.
I’m sure you thought from the title that the Minister of Music was going to challenge your thoughts on comfort zones relating to worship services and music. Don’t worry – I may, but I’m still waiting to see that last dot come into view.