Changes are Afoot

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

Last night was nothing short of amazing. What on the surface appeared to be a normal night turned into something spectacular. And I have no one to attribute it to except God Himself. He alone could have done what happened, and the fact that it was an answer to one of my prayers as well made it just all the more exciting. Let me explain.

On Sunday night, the youth had determined that we needed to have more practice for worship on Sunday night services. That was alright, so we set up a practice date for the next evening at 7:00 PM. Kyle suggested it that it be an acoustic night, just to work on the mainly the vocals and getting that right. That was fine with everyone, and so it happened. I got there roughly on time, and Kyle called Jordan since he hadn’t been there the night before to know about it. We started practicing, and everything was going fairly well, but fairly average. Jordan got there soon after, and we set up another acoustic guitar for him, plugging microphones and such into the system so that the piano and drums could be used. We were having an average, run-of-the-mill worship practice, and that’s just around the time when God showed up.

That morning, in my daily prayer time (which usually ends up being every two or three days, unfortunately), I had made sure to pray specifically for the worship practice that was to come in the evening. I prayed that we would keep the focus off of ourselves and our “image” and be able to focus completely on God. It’s the biggest problem that I’ve seen with the worship team and our youth group in general, and so that’s what I prayed for. As we progressed through the list of songs, Julie mentioned after finishing one song that we needed to be open to changing the list a little bit during the service. She mentioned that if the leader felt the need to repeat the chorus again, then he or she should go right ahead and do that. That was a good idea, but it was what she said next that really set things off in the right direction. She mentioned that the we needed to make these songs a prayer to God, not just to sing for ourselves. We needed to keep our focus on Him and be worshipping Him, not just performing for others. Her words weren’t the same as what I prayed that morning, but the meaning was the same. Right then and there, I knew that something big was going to happen – and it certainly did.

We continued on in our practice, and learned a couple new songs. One of them was a redo of an older song, Awesome God. Lawrence played the CD to just help us get a feel for the rhythm and such, though we all knew the words, and then we played. And that’s when things started changing. Though it’s a simple song, the words are powerful in their meaning. God truly is an awesome God. As we sang that song, it was if a dam was just breaking in some people’s hearts there. I mean, truthfully, I always have worshipped in worship practice. I don’t have to sing, since I don’t have a microphone, but I still do anyways. I feel that if I’m in a “worship team,” then I should be worshipping, even if no one hears me but God. But for some there, it was like a revelation. I looked around periodically as I worshipped God myself, and I saw the others worshipping just as hard as I was. I mean, it doesn’t seem ground-breaking that we should worship while singing “worship songs,” but it’s been a rare occurrence in our youth group. But not tonight. I looked around and saw people with their eyes closed, just praising God – it was amazing. That’s honestly never happened in a worship practice before.

After the song was over, Lawrence came over and did something even more remarkable. He stood up, walked over to the piano, and said, “You know guys, I just realized that we had it all wrong last year. We’ve been doing it wrong all this time. It’s not about us, it’s about God and worshipping Him.” At that point, the smile on my face grew to about twice the size of my face. Here was God answering my prayer right in front of me. And that was truly a big step for Lawrence. He’s not one to readily admit he’s wrong, and having basically been the leader of the worship team last year, I imagine that took a lot of courage for him. After that point, it was just God working through the whole practice. We did the rest of the songs, but it just wasn’t the same as the first half – it was ten times better. Yes, we were still practicing and making sure we got things right so they sounded good, but it wasn’t so that people would think better of us, it was so that we could worship God and allow others to do the same. On the way home, I just thanked God over and over, because I had no idea what else to say to Him. He’s just such a great God, and I know that He’s going to continue to do some amazing things throughout this next year if we allow Him into the youth group. Heh, imagine that – letting God into the church.

Anyways, I’ll stop rambling about last night and move on. After all, there’s always Thursday’s practice to talk about once it happens. Today was fairly average – nothing too interesting, really. Of course, when I woke up, I made sure to thank God another hundred times or so, and that really set off my day right. At lunchtime, I sat down at a table in the cafeteria and met up with Jared and Kristin. I haven’t talked to Jared in ages – he used to go to school with me, but once Grade 9 started, we split ways, both going to different high schools, and never talked again until this year. The conversation was quite humourous, really. We talked for about 20 or 25 minutes about gas prices and Hurricane Katrina. It was pretty funny, because I could never really imagine myself talking about such a topic for that long – and yet we did. It kept lunchtime interesting, though, so that was good. Other than that, though, it was a pretty monotonous day.

I think that’s all I have to say for today. I’m excited to see what’s in store for the youth group, and I hope and believe that God will work in everyone’s life, even during this hard time when we don’t have a spiritual leader in the form of a youth pastor. It’s always hard to get things organized without a leader, and yet God can even form order out of chaos. And so, I put my trust in Him and believe that He will do something great through my life and the lives of the others in the youth group. As for Central’s youth group, I still wish I could be a part of that, but I just got a call from Josh Coutts saying that they’ll likely be having a guys’ small group on Thursday nights, so that’s a chance for me to get involved there. It’s no youth service, but it’s still got great potential. Anyways, we’ll see how that goes, and then go from there, I suppose. But as for anything else I have to say, there isn’t much. I’ve pretty much run out of things to say. So here I end off this entry, with a great, “Hurrah!” Why that? Well, why not? It sounded good, anyways…

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