Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Was Made for This

A couple of weeks ago I had something of an aha moment.

I was on the stage at VBS when it happened.  I was looking out at the VBS kids, and I thought, "This is really weird.  I'm a 38 year old man.  I'm sitting on a stage in a Steam Punk tshirt and goggles--GOGGLES--along with a couple of good friends (also probably a bit old to be doing this).  I'm singing popish VBS songs with 200 kids who are singing at the top of their lungs.  What am I doing here?"

I didn't have to wait long for my answer, because I found it in the lyrics of the very song I was singing:
"I was made for this, I live for this.  God has a reason, reason for my life.  I'm gonna shout it out.  Without a doubt, I was born for this, built for a purpose."
I actually got just a bit choked when I sang the last sentence.  Well, it was either that or the cough that I had been fighting off that would come for me full force about 3 days later.  But I think it was the words.

It is absolutely bizarre how I spend my time.  And it's not just about VBS either.  I thought back to the week before, when I jumped on a bus with 45 kids and rode across the country, stopping now and then along the way to sing...or to graffiti an art installation in Texas (with permission, of course).  Lisa might say, "John, say that out loud, and this time listen to yourself while you are talking because that's the craziest thing I've ever heard!"  Last time she told me that it was because I had spent too much money on poker chips.  She was right.  That was crazy.  But the road trip?  I was born for this.

This week is Music n More camp.  I've been playing duck-duck-goose (well, actually a choir chime version that uses the red chime and the green chime) with two different groups of 1st and 2nd graders.  I've been teaching two different groups of 3rd through 5th graders how to play handbells.  To be in a play along with all the other kids.  To be honest, I also played duck-duck-goose with the older kids.  They loved it too.  I was born for this.

Today, after all the younger kids had left, I jump-started the church bus (because it's broken down again) so Bill and I could drive about 15 or so middle and high school kids over to Christian Towers to sing some songs.  Then we took them to Dairy Queen where I watched in horror as they spilled a large Sprite and then made them clean it up because WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE CAREFUL YOU GUYS?!  I refined my handshakes with some of them while we were there before we jump-started the bus again to get back to the church.  I was born for this.

If you had asked me when I was little what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have told you a fireman or a paramedic (I actually might have said that even early in high school).  If you asked me on a different day, I might have told you I wanted to do something in music.  Maybe be a conductor or a drummer or something.  I wasn't sure exactly what.  But I had sorted this much out: I love people, and I love making music.  What is a church music director supposed to do?  Love people.  Love making music.  Sure, there's a bunch of other stuff too (and sometimes that "other duties as assigned" list sure does feel long!).  But at its very core, that's what the job is.  I was made for this.  I live for this.

This is a gift, of course.  And it may be a fairly rare gift, finding your calling and living into it like I get to.  It's something I'm thankful for, and it's something I wish everyone could experience.


  1. I absolutely concur you were made for this and we are eternally grateful.
    Beth G

  2. Believe it or not John we all have this same aha moment!!! (Lol) Glad to know that I'm not alone in this "how did I get here" moments of my life. Glad to know that you are exactly where God wants and needs for you to be. Keep fighting the good fight and realizing that the kids need you more than you know. P.S. Don't forget to slow down and enjoy each and every moment that you can. Xoxoxo (Renita CMO)