I am often surprised by the giftedness of others. I don’t mean that I am shocked that a certain person can sing, or they can organize an event, or they can cook a great chocolate pie. What I mean is that I am often so caught up in my own world of trying to get done what I need to get done that I can be caught off guard by the giftedness of others – in a good way. I’ll have my head down pushing through my task when suddenly I am stopped short by the gift of another person.
That happened to me at least twice in worship yesterday (the 27th). I knew about both of the gifts that were coming, but I still was unprepared for how they hit me. The first was Laurel Waller singing an original song – one she wrote a few years back I’m told. It was a song about finding a purpose for your life. It was really a prayer to God that He would show her (me) the purpose for her (my) life. It was a beautiful song.
I’ve done some work with our recording and posted the song on YouTube – the video is below (it takes a minute or two for it to load – so wait fo it).
Then, as if that wasn’t blessing enough, Thomas Daniels played the cello in the 11:00 service. I love that instrument, and Thomas is a gifted musician. I closed my eyes and found myself in a spirit of worship that took me from the Sanctuary of Asbury and transported me to the throne room of God. I was surprised by the way God used the giftedness of Thomas to draw me closer to him – surprised because it was unexpected.
Doesn’t that speak volumes? I was surprised because my expectations were so low. Why do I expect so little from God? Is it possible that I limit what God is able to do in my life because I don’t expect enough? I don’t think that’s it. I think God will do what God does. However, I can probably avoid experiencing God’s power by taking over and doing things my way. How often am I sitting in worship thinking of a dozen other things? As a leader in the service I do have things to think about, but it probably happens to you as well. The point is, will I turn the moments over to God or will I keep trying to control the situation? How often do pastors and other leaders try to make sure everything goes the way they want so that others experience God? As if we could manufacture a spiritual experience.
I think what I am discovering is that we simply need to let God use our giftedness, and the giftedness of others, in the way that God sees fit. We need to let God work in us and through us without a worry about how it will all work out. I don’t mean we give up planning and striving to do things with excellence. I just mean that when it comes to the moment fear not. What I am discovering is that God will surprise us along the way.
May you know the surprise of God today.