Sunday, December 7, 2014

You Don't Say!

As we grow up, there are a number of words deemed "inappropriate" to say. There was one that was the most egregious of them all. It's funny to me when I think about it: my parents said it all of the time. And now, as an adult, I find that using it is one of the most difficult things to do. You know which word I mean:


That's right, "no". (What word were YOU thinking?!?)

There are some people with whom I have a harder time with its usage than others. Those tend to be friends. You'd think that would be my wife … or my boss. Nope. Friends. I find that I will put myself in an uncomfortable position later, so as not to use the word now. Let me give you a recent example.

For those of you who normally follow my blog or are intimate enough in friendship with me know, I am on a "sabbatical" from "intellectual Christianity". For those of you who aren't aware, you can check the following: one, two, three. A few weeks ago, my friend Jim and I were out having dinner, when he mentioned that the building fund offering song we did last year ("12 Days of Christmas" was being requested for another go.

As a quick overview: my church has a mortgage (insert sarcasm font - "shocking, I know"), and on the first Sunday of the month receives a special offering to help reduce it. Usually, we take a song, rewrite the lyrics, and perform it like the original. Usually the song is a humorous and "Christian" retelling. Thus the non-traditional "12 Days".

Since I was the lead vocal, Jim asked if I wouldn't mind leading it again this year. I, of course, told him, "No. I am on a sabbatical and am uncomfortable with the idea of standing before the congregation after being absent for these many weeks. This is a needed time and I need this separation."

Truth? I said, "Sure."

As the weeks went by, I more and more regretted my inability to say, "no". Just over a week ago, Jim sent an email out to those doing the song that we would have a rehearsal on Sunday (last week) after service to run through it. I emailed him back and got a good estimate of when that would be, since I did not plan on attending the service. I could see cars leaving the parking lot as I approached, so I knew that either service was over, or that those who bail early (for brunch?) were on their way out. I parked, walked in with minimal contact, and did the rehearsal. (The rehearsal consisted of one, train-wrecked run through.) I got caught by a couple of friends on my way out the door, and I was on my way home.

Part of my trepidation was that I did not want to have to explain everything to anybody for my absence. ("Read my blog, for cryin' out loud! I posted the links four times on Facebook!!") Partially, because I didn't want to make it seem like I was disrespecting our pastor. My wife said that it was not anyone's business, and that I did not owe them anything. If asked, just tell them I was on a sabbatical. That should be enough. If pressed, then they asked for it! That helped with my attending the rehearsal. I still had to be there for the performance.

Today (as this is being written) was the performance. A run-through rehearsal is done BEFORE the service starts, and the song is performed at the END of the service. That meant I had to be there at 09:30 for the rehearsal, service started at 10:00, and the song should take place around 11:15. My plan was to get there, do the rehearsal, and leave until the time for the song.

I got there at 09:30. I walked in and immediately went to the back room (behind the platform) to drop off my stuff. There was a special ensemble performance taking place for the regular offering, and they were rehearsing, so we didn't start our rehearsal until 09:40 or so. Fortunately, we had a chance to run over it twice (as the first time through was another train wreck. Second time came out great.)

I went in the back until the praise and worship portion of the service started (again, minimizing my contact with folks). I "snuck in" to the sanctuary through a side door, and spent time praising and worshipping God. NOTHING like worshipping with live music.

After it was over, I went back through the same door to hang out in the back room until time for the song. From there I can hear a muffled version of the service (occasionally listening by the door to determine where in the service it was). I visited with two members of the music team who came through, read, and watched the clock.

As I mentioned above, the building fund offering should be around 11:15. 11:15 came and went. Today we had a guest speaker who did not speak English. He would make a statement, and it would be interpreted. He would make another statement, and that would be interpreted. So, in actuality, the sermon took about twice as long.

When the sermon was over, close to noon, the pastor came up and said that the building fund would be postponed until next week. I turned to grab my stuff and head out the door, thinking that there goes three hours of my life I'll never get back. Jim opened the door to tell me what the pastor had said, and asked if I would be willing to come back and do the song next week. I told him, "Sure Jim. No problem. I'd be happy to come back and do this all over again."

Actually, I said, "Maybe you can find another song for next week."

I was proud of myself. I said, "No."

© Emittravel 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment