Sometimes the best things to happen to us don’t seem to be that at all.
This weekend I am leading our music team at church. I am doing so because our oftentimes music leader and full-time music director is taking his children for a trip away. Currently our church services are in the hall building due to the need for seismic strengthening of our brick church building proper. This means every week we need to set up the music gear; monitors, mixer, instruments, microphones, etc.; and then put them away when finished. I have done this before, both the easier setup in the church and the more involved setup in the hall. Still, I second guess every decision I make. Are the cables as safe as they can be for young people walking around? Have I set everything up in the correct place? Have I left enough space for the altar and seats for the congregation? This initially seems like a stressful time, but is a good reminder for me to stop, breathe, and remember what worship is all about.
Playing music at church is a different thing than a concert because it is to lead people in worship. It is helpful if it sounds as good as it can, but the main thing is that we, the music team, lead faithfully so everyone can follow. It can be difficult to remember this for music at church, and for other areas of my life.
Sometimes we don’t realise the beauty of the obstacles in our lives. When we are in the midst of struggle, seeing the other side, how the experience will help us in the future, is difficult. We are more likely to focus on receiving the answers we didn’t expect or want. An example of this is losing a game of sport we felt or team had a high chance of winning. We can spend a lot of time thinking of poor decisions and performance, and not how the experience might help us make better decisions in the future.
Applying for jobs is another time when we can get stuck in this cycle. It often takes quite a few rejections before we are offered a position. Each cover letter we write can be an opportunity to improve on the previous one. Each interview we have gives us experience we didn’t have before we had it. Finding out the reasons we were not the suitable candidate for a particular position at a particular time may help us further narrow what we are actually looking for. Through the various job searches I’ve embarked on I’ve definitely felt the lows and been unable to see past the fact I did not get the job, many times over. This was especially difficult because at certain points I wasn’t earning income.
One of the things I seek in life is to find a lovely woman with whom to share life in a cosy house with. In the past, and still sometimes today, I spend too much time searching so actively that I miss getting to know and spending meaningful time with wonderful new friends. Sometimes it is difficult not to feel sad that I have not found someone to make this home with yet. Yet, being one person rather than a couple has meant I’ve been able to make decisions confidently to represent New Zealand at ultimate (frisbee) internationally and within New Zealand, and to change jobs without worrying too deeply about a loss of income. These are two silver linings, there are probably more.
Life is not fair. I have been privileged in my life, probably more than I know. I endeavour to build others up for success as often as I am able, as so many people have kindly done for me. It has been a long process, and it’s still ongoing, but I work hard to actively see the benefit of every situation. Whether I receive the answer I wanted or not. I hope to encourage others to do the same, so they can be the awesome people they already are.
Take a deep breath. What are some things in your life which may be blessings in disguise? How can you make the best of tough situations you’re facing? Let us know in the comments below so we can help each other keep on being awesome.