Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.

Isn't the internet wonderful?

"I think we should eat at Chili's."
"What would you like to order?"
"What do they have?"
[clickety clickety click]
"Here's their menu."

Or maybe...

"How long does it take to get from Owensboro to Chicago?"
[clickety clickety click]
"About 6 and a half hours."
<7.5 hours later>
"Hey...how long did you say it takes to get from Owensboro to Chicago?"
"Er, uh..."

Bottom line, despite great plans, we were late for our concert today in Chicago.  Our contact told us if we arrived after 4:30 we would have to cancel.  We made it at 4:15.  We warmed up on the bus.  Each youth changed in the bus restroom (one at a time, of course).  We walked in and pulled off a decent concert.

When we arrived there were two people in this pretty small room.  I started to think about what that might mean.  I've always said my measure of a successful concert is if there are more people in the audience than there are on stage.  Well, there are thirty of us on stage!

More folks did come (or, more folks were wheeled in).  By the time we started the concert, there were about 15-20 folks there to hear us.  But my mind kept going back to those two.  What if that had been it?  I was wrong.  It's not about how many people hear you.  It's about them really hearing you.  Hearing you with more than their ears.  Hearing you with their hearts.  And as it turns out, the folks we sang for today listened carefully with their hearts.

And it was a joy to sing happy birthday to a woman who turned 100 years old just yesterday.  In fact, at least five folks in the room were over 100!  One of them (her name is Century) asked me to sit in her lap!  I respectfully and politely declined.  She shared with me that when she was younger she had been a typist.  I love singing in assisted living type places because everyone there has a story to tell.  And when they share them, their stories become our stories.

Good devotional tonight.  Madeline R read the Great Commission from Matthew, and then the other members of the group asked questions relating to our mission.  How have we accomplished our mission?  What else do we need to do?  What did we do differently from yesterday?  How did the audience react to our mission?  Lots of good answers.

Of course we also had some fun today.  After our concert, we headed over to the Navy Pier for dinner and to hang out.  We also met up with Alex F, joining us late on tour.  Lucy took this great picture of the group at the gate.

A bit of good news.  We stopped today at a truck stop to fuel the bus and use the restrooms.  When Sally approached the counter, the clerk asked if she was in charge of this group (I can't imagine why her reflex was to say no).  In any event, the clerk told her this group was exceedingly well behaved and polite.  No, I have not replaced your children with some kind of mechanical, cleverly disguised imposters!

I almost forgot.  This morning we watched an edited version of Blues Brothers.  Thanks to Perry for making it PG so we could show it on the bus.  I'm not sure the youth enjoyed it as much as I did...in fact I'm pretty sure they didn't.  But it was fantastic.  If you'd like to borrow this edited version so you can begin indoctrinating your 5 year old, let me know.

Tonight Jake and Elwood went to James and Claire.  Congratulations, guys!

Goodnight, moon.  5:55 comes early!  Feel free to comment below.

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