I went to bed last night reluctantly at 10:30pm, selfishly angry that my alarm was set for 6:00am. I had received a text earlier in the week from the production crew coordinator at church letting me know that call time for service had been moved up an hour. Throughout the week I contemplated backing out, since I hadn’t been feeling well and also because I’m stubborn, and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around having to be somewhere that early on a Sunday. My conscience won and I decided to stay committed, excusing it by telling myself this would be the last time I serve on the media team. I barely slept and getting up was rough, but I made it. Over and over in my head I kept questioning to myself why I was there. Why I was needed. My energy was low and my patience thin.
It was well past 9:00 and people continued to file in, filling up almost every chair in the room. It’s usually pretty crowded, but something was different today. After the first worship song people were clapping and cheering, and by the middle of the second song at least half of everyone in the room had hands in the air. I could hear God in my ear saying, “I know you didn’t want to listen, but I put you here for a reason.”
I’ve been in somewhat of a funk lately, not one I am unfamiliar with. I am well aware that my faith is a roller coaster and it holds a pattern based on what’s currently happening in my life. For weeks or months at a time I’ll find myself closer to God than ever, attending church every week and my small group regularly, making time for daily devotions and prayer. And then slowly I’ll drift into a state of apathy and selfishness. This could last weeks or months or even years, depending on who I’m dating and what my friend group looks like. My faith gets put on the back burner until I crash mentally or emotionally and realize that I still need God after all. And then I seek Him and find Him all over again.
For a long time I would be frustrated with myself during those “off seasons,” almost like when I gain weight and think “how did I let myself get this far?” I look at other people at church and think they have it all together, since they are there every Sunday and seem to be on a steady path in their own faith. But I’m realizing that my entire life is going to be made of these ups and downs and so is everyone else’s. And that’s okay. I feel okay drifting because I know God will always lead me back to Him, just like He did today.
I watched nearly 20 people get baptized today. And not because it was scheduled, they didn’t reach out to someone a few weeks ago and say “I want to sign up for baptism.” These people happened to come to church today and when they were invited to come up and publicly give their lives to Christ, they accepted. I witnessed twenty lives start over today. I witnessed twenty people’s sins vanish right before my eyes. I witnessed twenty people turn their heads to God never to look back. Last Sunday NINETY-FIVE people were baptized. I’m watching one church transform an entire community.
And so it all made sense. Another face-palm moment for me in my walk with God. Because of whatever He put on my heart I could not walk away from my commitment today, no matter how early. I could not stay angry or irritated because it was so clear that I was there for a reason, and that I have a purpose in the church. Every single person in that church is a part of a whole. We are each a part of this HUGE thing that’s happening. I can feel it moving within me, and I can see it changing others. I know my journey is far from over, and even though there will always be highs and lows, the high I felt today behind that camera makes up for everything else.