I interrupt the flow of insight into what’s been going on with me lately to give another update of sorts on the teaching front. Yes you do recall some of the sessions I’ve had of date as I’ve made note about them of late. The last note I made was the one before the big date on 20th October. It was a big date as I was scheduled to do a micro-teach – that is prepare a lesson of 20 minutes to present to my peers. It is not as straightforward as it appears and the preparation work was likewise not that easy to do either. Still do it we had to and it was done. I was very disappointed in my effort. Very disappointed indeed.
What was illuminative about the experience looking back on it was how it didn’t actually subscribe to one of the lessons I’ve learnt and continue to learn from church. You see I remember clearly being upset about how I was doing at church. Especially on things like lessons or preaching I always felt somewhat as if once I had done it then I was under scrutiny. Had I done a good job, I didn’t always feel I had. It became an issue especially when I was asked to do stuff on a regional and national level. To me at that stage if you’re really going to ‘minister’ you have to be good. I mean there’s the usual Christian cliché about being anointed, but what that is all about is being in a stream of doing what God has called you to do.
When you’re there, then it’s a matter of submitting to that and going with it and that works just as much when you’re being a mother, a student, a bank clerk or a preacher. I didn’t feel I was being ‘good’. I thought I was just trotting, just giving out stuff cos I could just give out stuff. It’s not that I had to do 72 hours of deep biblical interrogation and a further 72 hours of cultural application before wrapping it with a 72 hours session of fasting and prayer before turning up to teach/preach. It’s just about …
Well where the breakthrough came for me and the teaching thing was first to realise that it didn’t matter whether it was a national, regional, local or family thing. The audience is always an audience of one. That one the one hand relieves the pressure and can heighten it all at the same time. It heightens it because no longer am I looking to ‘impress’ a crowd. Now I’m actually looking to get something done that will be pleasing to the Creator of the universe. In His presence there is no fooling of anyone, everything is exposed and there’s nothing to hide.
That however relaxes things immensely because then we are humbled to be in the presence of one who knows everything and everything I am and can do is down to Him. He knows my capabilities and in the light of who He is I can know what I am capable of and not only that but how it’s applicable to that given time. So I am free and impassioned to give of my best for Him out of gratitude and love for all He is.
Once in that frame of mind, I’m not under any pressure to perform and likewise I’m not under any pressure to know if I’ve performed well because the heart has been true and the focus has been single as well, not only that but because it has been responsibly based I have only gone as far as I’ve been led. That’s not to say others will like it, others will get it or it will be to anyone’s great taste. The deal is that I would have pleased the audience to whom I’ve directed it because of those factors.
I was fascinated relating that to the whole orchestra metaphor where you are an instrument among other instruments privileged to be playing a beautiful symphony. You can either play yourself or be arranged to play by the orchestrator being able to play at the right time, to add your notes and rhythm to the appropriate stage of the music and when it’s all together the blend of tone, feel, emotion and timing can make the heart soar. I forgot all about that on Tuesday 20th October. Instead I was doing a micro-teach, it was a job to be done, it was a chores to be completed and as a result I forgot my whole part in God’s great symphony of life at that point. What a pity. What a shame.
It’s for similar reasons that I now face some interesting questions now as to where I fit in that symphony, what note I am to play at this particular time. When you’re going with the flow of what’s been played by the Lord you get to enjoy others’ contribution and see how yours fits with others and appreciate just how simple and yet complex the piece can be. It’s like a song, it may sound simple but when you check the component parts and their subtle arrangements you get to see why songs are not that simple and why the part we get to play in making a song is so crucial and why paying attention to the orchestrator and learning what the place we play is so important.
Oh and just out of interest, I passed the micro-teach, but as you know it’s not always the passing that counts it’s passing well. Where the song is concerned, thankfully it’s not just putting out a boring track of pop junk, but it’s a memorable musical masterpiece made by so many but orchestrated by and for the audience of One.
For His Name's Sake