Yesterday in church Pat was teaching and one of the points he was making is that often times we in the church end up relying on “professional Christians” to do most of the “heavy lifting” when it comes to ministry, serving, and missions, but we as a church need to all take up the initiative and both lead/serve with the passions God has equipped us with.
He said that it won’t always be perfect, but we still need to give it a shot. Then he said something like, “Take this for example….” and then you hear a heavy bass line start up over the speakers. Pat grabs a handheld mic and says, “Karaoke is the ultimate example of regular people doing the job of a professional…” Behind him we all recognize “Stand By Me” starting up. “So I’m going to sing a little to show you that we don’t have to be perfect to be effective.” People start to shift expectantly in their chairs to hear Pat melt their ears with some crooning.
But then he bails at the last minute when the lyrics start flashing on the screens. People laugh. And all was good.
At the end of the service I go on stage to announce a few things, remind folks about communion after the service, and tell everyone we love them and look forward to seeing them again next week. But as I’m finishing the last sentence “Stand By Me” starts up again… People again laugh and I can see they’re wondering if I’ll sing or not. They’re looking for a good laugh, apparently. And I actually consider it. But I end up walking off stage after a bit of hesitation.
It made for some funny conversations after church. But I’ll admit on the ride back home as I was in the truck by myself I killed the song. I mean KILLED IT! I tried a few different pitches or intensities. Found my best Ben E. King impersonation. And I’ll admit that there was some regret mixed in. Why didn’t I go for it? Was it risk of embarrassment? Sounding too bad? Or screwing up? Or failure? [can you really fail at Karaoke?] Was it fear of being laughed at instead of laughed with?
It was probably a cocktail of a few of those mixed together. But as I look at my life, both past and present, I see the same thing has held me back from some different ventures/adventures. And I don’t want my life to be marked by that anymore. I want to be able to move forward and take “risks” without fear of failure. Or screwing up. To have confidence of Christ in me (the hope of glory).
Now of course this doesn’t mean I jump at any chance to embarrase myself, which I probably would have done if I’d actually tried to sing yesterday. But to not be scared to push outside of my comfort zone. I think sometimes my comfort zone can become my complacent zone. Does that make sense?