Sunday, October 14, 2012

Serving in the Background

This past week I purchased some Christian rap albums by some artists I heard at a concert and have been listening to it almost non-stop. My niece was visiting for the weekend and I told her, "I'm going to get you into rap, little girl!" which is something that no parent (or grandparent) would ever want to hear said in front of children. But as was evidence from that night, rap music can be redeemed. 

Overall it was a pretty stellar night; I volunteered to help sell one of the merchandise of one the performers. I'm sure that my experience helping with coordination of big events have formed a way that I enjoy staying in the background and see what I can do to make what is happening at the front better. 

I was so encouraged hearing these lyrics from one of his songs about that very thing - playing the background. I knew these guys are for real, when at the end of the show it's evident that it's not about them, they're in the background. 

I could play the background
I could play the background
Cause I know sometimes I get in the way
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
So won't You take the lead, lead, lead?
And I could play the background, background
And you could take the lead

[Verse 1:]
It's evident you run the show, so let me back down
You take the leading role, and I'll play the background
I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines
I'm sticking to your script, and I'm reading all your signs
I don't need my name in lights, I don't need a starring role
Why gain the whole wide world, If I'm just going lose my soul
And my ways ain't purified, don't live according to Your Word
I can't endure this life without Your wisdom being heard
So word to every dance, a foe, a pop star
'Cause we all play the background, but mine's a rockstar
Yeah, so if you need me I'll be stage right
Praying the whole world will start embracing stage fright
So let me fall back, stop giving my suggestions
'Cause when I follow my obsessions, I end up confessing
That I'm not that impressive, matter of fact
I'm who I are, a trail of stardust leading to the superstar

[Verse 2:]
I had a dream that I was captain of my soul
I was master of my fate, lost control. and then I sank
So I don't want to take the lead, 'cause I'm prone to make mistakes
All the folks who follow me, going end up in the wrong place
So let me just shadow you, let me trace your lines
Matter of fact, just take my pen, here, you create my rhymes
'Cause if I do this by myself, I'm scared that I'll succeed
And no longer trust in you, 'cause I only trust in me
And see, that's how you end up headed to destruction
Paving a road to nowhere, pour your life out for nothing
You pulled my card, I'm bluffing, You know what's in my hand
Me, I'm just going to trust you, You cause the dice to land
I'm in control of nothing, follow you at any cost
Some call it sovereign will, all I know is you the boss
Man, I'm so at ease, I'm so content
I'll play the background, like it's an instrument

I know I'm safest when I'm in Your will, and trust Your Word
I know I'm dangerous when I trust myself, my vision blurred
And I ain't got no time to play life's foolish games
Got plenty aims, but do they really Glorify Your name
And it's a shame, the way I want to do these things for You
Don't even cling to you, take time to sit and gleam from You
Seems You were patient in my ignorance
If ignorance is bliss, it's 'cause she never heard of this

They're pretty sick lyrics, eh. 

I was reminded of them this morning when my pastor preached on God's faithfulness. I've sat in sermons before where the preacher talks about the need for Christians to "increase their faith" in order for things to happen. But, really, all you need is to have faith. It is all depended on the God whose faith you have. He then went on to say about spiritual gifting. 

I'm paraphrasing, but basically he went on to say that although we are new creations when we accept Christ, it doesn't mean our personalities change. It doesn't mean our quirks change, or our talents. Yes, our desires and passions are more pointed towards God, and so everything about us we use for him. We aren't given new gifts, we use the gifts we were already given when he made us. 

That's why, when someone says "aren't you bummed you sat at the back the whole time?" during a Christian concert, my answer may always be "no way!" because serving so that others can enjoy is my gifting. Maybe I thought about this for a while, but it's the first time I'm putting it down on digital ink. 

The message was uplifting. I always contemplated what gifts I've been given. Some may be self-identifiable, affirmed by others, but is there anything that I can use a particular set of skills or talents or even passions and hobbies for the church? And then I started thinking about what my own interests are... And I thought, "Yeah, I can totally do this for the church." 

I began thinking of pop culture and that, like rap, can be redeemed. We do not do this ourselves, but we  are dependent on supernatural realities. I feel like this Sunday has been more of an invitation, that instead of trying to find some new way of serving, to use what I'm doing now to serve. 

I don't think my church is ready for it, which is going to make an amazing faith adventure.  

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