"You want to learn drums, right?"
I eyed my youth leader wondering what question might be lurking behind this question. It was a regular old Sunday morning in my early teen years and I was wandering around waiting for the church service to start.
I nodded hesitantly.
"How about today?"
The service was starting in approximately ten minutes. He lead me over to the drum set that had been vacated by whichever more talented and experienced drummer had been scheduled to play that day. He proceeded to show me the basic four counts of a rock beat I was to play on repeat, and assured me I would be fine.
He took his place behind the mic, guitar in hand to begin the service and I wide-eyed with intense focus behind the drums. I assume there were other musicians but I don't really remember. All I remember was trying not to look and sound like it was my first rodeo and somewhat stay in sync with the rest of the instruments.
I knew nothing of technique, fills, counting in, specific rhythmns in different songs or how to end a song. I knew only my newly acquired basic beat that I pounded out with the rigidness of the sticks I held. And, I knew the one who held out the sticks to me had more confidence in me than I had myself.
That Sunday is set apart from a thousand other Sunday's in my memory simply because it was the day I said yes. I was no star, but it was the start.
As it turned out, I had a smidgen of natural groove, though I'm not sure it would've be evident that particular morning. I continued to play at church and with our youth band that later formed. Years later I even took lessons to hone my skill and add technique to my natural rhythmn.
Perhaps if I had said, "Yes I want to but...," or "maybe tomorrow," or "What if...." or "Pick someone else," or "But I'm not good enough," I would've missed the opportunity to start down a path I was meant for. That morning wasn't about killing it, it was about willingness.
We often use a word that seems to scare many of my fellow followers of Jesus: calling. We are called by God, have a specific calling, and are supposed to walk in this sometimes elusive calling. In a culture obsessed with control, calling has become more intimidating than inviting.
Why? Because we like to be in control. Before we say yes, we want to know who, what, where, when, why, how much and how long so we can determine if it's worthwhile. The enemy can use our obsession with control often disguised as "What if," "If only," and "Yes but" to keep us from ever crossing the start line.
Perhaps one of these sounds familiar? What if it's not worth it? What if I heard wrong? What if I made this whole thing up? What if I'm no good? What if no one shows up? If only I had more time and talent. If only I had a spouse who shared my passion. If only I was in a more ideal season of life. Yes, but maybe tomorrow. Yes, but there's probably someone better suited. Yes, but when it's a more convenient season of life.
My friend, I know there is something the still, small voice has been prompting you to do. Perhaps you are hesitating because all you have to go on is a basic beat. Jesus is mighty good at sorting out the details as you seek Him along the way. Just say yes.
It might not be a pair of drumsticks being held out to you, but the invitation is the same, "How about today?"
Let today simply be the day you said yes.
- What keeps you from living out your calling?
- Is there a paralyzing question keeping you from simply starting?
More to come on Demystifying Calling. Stay tuned!