Friday, January 28, 2011

Lessons From A Concert

Besides mowing acres of lawn on sticky, sweltering days, there are few things in Life I truly dislike doing. But there are some other things I, well, hate:

1. Driving/riding on snowy roads.
2. Shopping for groceries after dark.
3. Attending loud concerts in a bar-like atmosphere.

Last night I had to do all three.


And God sat watching me closely, I know. Why? Because for years He's worked hard to get me to 'count it all joy.' All. To not count the moments till the awful task is over--no! But rather, to remain pleasant, sweet and kind toward others in the middle of it all.

Real pleasantness--not faked or forced, either.

See, last night Naomi's brand new funk band played at a restaurant. For years she'd dreamed of doing this amazing thing on her birthday, and well, last night her dream came true. And I was happy for her, yes! I always adore beholding anybody's Big Moment.

But oh dear, I do not, generally, like blaring, bass-thumping funk music. Some parts, yes! Other parts, not so much.

Tom and I did bring earplugs, though. They made the sound level just right. :) And the band before Naomi's played classic rock--she knew we'd like that music and we did. And I did enjoy watching people dancing what I thought was 60's style and seeing laughter in their eyes. We shared our nachos with Carl's sweet, sweet brother, Andrew (remember ol' Carl who Naomi dated for 7 years? He moved to NC. We miss him.). Naomi's dearest friend from high school was there and we love her. And I whispered little prayers for all the drinkers and dancers in the room.

So there was much good! But oh my, it's so unlike the real me to attend blaring funk concerts with alcohol flowing like water.

Yet the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g is valuable. And God always makes certain to place rampant opportunities to remind me to smile and make others comfortable--something I could not do while beneath that dreaded curse of shyness back in my 20's and 30's. He's spent whole decades teaching me that it's not all about me and what I need! But rather, that loving others right where they are is the key to their joy--and mine.

Lots of Christians think God just wants them to appear as good, saintly folk--non-worriers, forgiving, unselfish, uncrabby examples for the world to see and so they'll desire all that for themselves.

But I believe God prefers to go way deeper.

He wants to reach far, far down and pull up the junk that would make us react with worry, selfishness or crabbiness. He's into discovering--and then ripping out--the cause of our hang-ups. What still makes us shy? Or worried? Or stressed-out?

That's the garbage He longs to toss out one piece at a time, flinging it away with our cooperation until what's left is only pure, silent trust. And a giving spirit. Acceptance of others. And most of all, real love that puts others and what they need from us, first.

He's not into appearances, but rather, what is real, like blessed heart-leaping freedom. For everyone.


So did anyone watch "I Know Where I'm Going!" after I mentioned it? If so, I'd love to know what you thought.


"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved." ... John 3:17

"Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me..."


Judy said...

You sure do know how to party!


Debra said...

Judy--and you sure do know how to make me laugh! :) Thanks...Debra

Unknown said...

I have really mellowed with age and experience. I keep remembering scriptures to keep me in line even though it's tough sometimes. Your posts really help on a day to day journey. Thanks
Odie :)

Pat said...

I agee with you on those 3 things you dislike so much!
Now get down with your bad self!

Pearl said...

It's so wonderful that you were able to attend Naomi's big day with her. It cracks me up that you guys took ear plugs! Hah

Anonymous said...

I laughed about the ear plugs, too. Nothing like being prepared. Happy Belated Birthday, to Naomi. Tell her, she has the best Mom! Joyce

Debra said...

Odie--I know what you mean about mellowing with age. Been there, done that. :) Thanks for your daily encouragement!
Pat--thanks for the smile! I just may do that. :)
Pearl and Joyce--oh my, yes. We wouldn't dream of attending one of those concerts without earplugs! We'd be deaf old folks by now without them. :) Thanks for the birthday wishes for Naomi, Joyce. That's sweet of you.

Thanks, Everyone...Debra