April 24, 2017
A few weeks ago, some friends graciously gave us tickets to a local Laura Story concert. Love her. If you’re not familiar with her music, you are definitely missing out.
Along with the tickets, our friends reserved front row seats for us. Front pew, dead center. We were closer to Laura Story than anyone else in the building. So close that we basically could have high fived each other had she taken the notion to do so during the show.
Standing during the worship songs proved to be a little intimidating.(Sidenote:I cling to that “joyful noise” verse.) I stood hoping/wishing/praying that her own voice and guitar would completely drown out anything coming from my mouth.
During the concert, Laura referred several times to her playlist and her tendency to deviate from it. This plan was a handwritten list of song abbreviations she had placed by her feet on the floor. I’m telling you, we were close. Close enough to take the list and get it autographed after the show.
I haven’t figured out what all of the abbreviations mean, but I do know that Laura said that she didn’t follow her plan exactly.
I guess that’s the way concerts go. I know that’s the way life goes.
We can have life all planned out, down to the details of hours and minutes, but really, how often does the playlist end up matching reality?
Just the day after the concert, I had my evening all mapped out, complete with eating nachos and watching basketball from the couch. These people I live with had other ideas. A few minutes into a pity party, I recognized my selfishness and apologized.
My apologies turned into confession before God the next morning at church as I looked around me and was reminded of my own frivolity. A couple who sat behind us had buried their grandchild earlier in the week. A couple to our left raised their hands in worship regardless of the health battles they faced. All the while, my friend’s impending out of state move…the second within a year…with two preschoolers in tow…weighed on my heart.
Major changes to life’s playlists.
I’m as capable as the next believer to quote some Scripture and nod my head in agreement when someone else’s life faces change and upheaval. “His will…” rolls easily off my lips in an effort to encourage someone. “His ways are higher” I can remind another who’s enduring an unexpected detour from their plans.
But when I’m staring at my own playlist, do I remember the truth of His Word? When I’m asked to obey His directions rather than give in to my own desires, do I trust? Because that’s what it really comes down to, right? Do we trust Him?
Do we believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is in control? That He is orchestrating the show? That long ago, before our first breaths, He wrote down our playlist, the storylines that would compose our lives?
It’s one thing to be a steward of our time and our gifts and desire to use them to serve. It’s another thing to have a grasp on our plans and goals and dare anyone or even the One to make us change course.
Yes, there are plenty of times when life seems out of key. We stomp our feet in protest rather than tapping along in rhythm to the soundtrack of our days. The design may include songs we don’t want to sing.
And surely, it’ll be full of anthems of praise.
Remember friend, God’s playlist, His divine plan for our lives, turns out to be a beautiful compilation. Sing it out for all to hear.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11