My dad used to trick me a lot as a kid. Especially when it came to my food.
Him: “Hey Lani baby, let Daddy have a fry”
Me: “Ok Daddy…”
Him: *takes seven*
Or my favorite was when he would ask to “taste my drink” to “make sure it was ok,” like he was doing me a favor, when really he just wanted to drink HALF of my grape soda. (No wonder I have trust issues…)
Why were you such a stingy child, Jillana? I know you’re thinking it. But I wasn’t, really, I just had a very special relationship with food. I didn’t abuse it or anything, “special relationship” makes it sound bad, but growing up with four siblings, food was probably the only thing that I didn’t have to share. What was on my plate was mine. Could they not just let me have this ONE thing?
Probably one of my most defining moments as a kid was when my older sister asked if she could have a bite of my cereal. First of all, ew. Who shares cereal? But what I said next pretty much solidified my status in my family, as the “stingy foodie,” for life.
“I share my toys…but I’m eating.”
I couldn’t have been more than 3, but my parents had yet to hear such wisdom. They got the message. When Jillana is eating, leave her alone.
Seriously, if I ever share my food with you, you must be pretty high on my list.
I realized recently, that I carry this attitude with me when I lead worship.
(I promise, the lightbulb will go off soon)
I guard my time on stage, like I guarded my plate with one arm, to keep my dad and brothers from sneaking a fork in. Huddled over and protecting it, like someone could take it from me. Sometimes I get so starved for God’s presence, and Sunday morning is a time where I can feel it the most–so I get selfish with it. Instead of ministering to the people in the audience, I’m trying to get what’s mine, and minister to myself.
This past weekend it hit me. The band at church broke out into a spontaneous chorus of “Set a Fire” by Will Reagan and United Pursuit, which is my jam, so I just went in. My eyes were closed, my head was down, I was in my own little world–when I look up to see about a hundred people looking back at me, arms crossed, looking like someone had spit in their cereal that morning.
It was then that I realized Sunday morning can’t be all about me. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with getting lost in the worship, even when you’re on stage. I think to an extent, it’s necessary. Some of the best worship leaders, are the ones who can demonstrate what genuine worship looks like.
But I was faced with the realization that many people who walk through the doors of our church might not know the joy of resting in God’s presence. This might all be new to them. So maybe there is more for me to do on stage than just sing. Maybe there is something for me to communicate. Maybe there is something for me to share.
“I share my toys…but I’m eating.”
I’m around people most of the day, every day of the week. I share myself quite a bit. Can I not just have this ONE thing?
The only problem is I’m not a little kid, who has her parents feeding her, anymore. Spiritually, I can eat as many Frosted Flakes in a day, as I want.
(physically, that would be very bad…this is a PSA)
The weekend is not my only chance to experience God’s presence! I couldn’t just get by only eating once a week, so why do I try to get by with only what I experience every weekend at church?
I need to make sure that I’m full so that when Sunday morning comes, what I give away is extra.
I need to get a fill of Him daily, especially because of the position that He has entrusted me with, so that I can lead from the overflow. With open hands.
Instead of trying to fill myself up with God’s presence, I should be trying to make people aware of His presence. Convincing them with everything in me that God is there, and wants to meet with them.