Reasons to rejoice abound daily. This past week we've received kindness upon kindness from God in myriad ways.
A bit more than 17 years ago, I asked God to make the baby in my womb a musician with the skill level and passion for the chosen instrument that was surpassed only by his passion for the One for Whom he played. Naturally I made sure he got piano lessons. Of course I was delighted when he showed interest in the guitar. But passion? Oh, boy. Only the drums became an object of his musical passion. Thankfully I hadn't closed the door of my heart on that one, but I have certainly closed the door of his bedroom countless times!
He had a few lessons by the drummer at church, who has been drumming faithfully every single week for a long, long time. Not only has it been a major sacrifice for Matt to be the sole drummer for the band, but Leanne (his wife) was driving separately month after month, or going with him and hanging out for a couple hours every Sunday, I'm not sure which. So, last summer, when we asked if he'd give Stephen lessons and for how much, he agreed to a ridiculously discounted rate-- "selfishly". It was a savvy move to offer an unbeatable incentive: prepare Steve for music ministry sooner rather than later:). Thanks, Matt! You're a good man. And Leanne, I'm giving you a standing ovation as I type this!
Stephen was recently asked to join the Sunday morning worship team practice, which honored and scared him. Within short order they asked him to play on March 15th. Whoa. He practiced hard and took advice from Paul. I peeked in on them Saturday night. Father/son jam fest in Stephen's tiny room, which has three pieces of furniture: a bunkbed, a bookcase, and a drum set. (The dresser is in the closet; the room is that small.)
He told me the next morning he was extremely nervous, but we assured him it was normal. He was afraid he was making it more about himself than about God; hence the excessive nerves. So we prayed for him , again. I didn't notice any flubs in his playing, but then again, my eyes were not glued on him the whole time. He was doing such a good job enhancing and blending with the music that he didn't stick out. Bravo. Only afterwards did he tell me that, when he was practicing, he changed the lyrics (in his mind) of a popular song, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord. He sang something like, "and if I drop a stick or lose the tempo, blessed be Your Name."
He said both happened that morning, but he kept right on worshiping.