This is an honest confession from a worship team member.
"Will you be there next Sunday?" asked Cherie. "There are a few songs that have a lot of violin in them. I'll give you a CD so you can hear. But I know you can take it and make it pretty like you always do."
Well, what I always do is try to hide up there on the chancel and just...worship on my violin. Sometimes it doesn't feel like much, but it's what I've been given. I don't usually use music. I just fill in as we go along. It's an offering from my heart, and a way for me to give back to my church family.
Playing what was on that CD certainly fell within my skill level. But for some reason, I found myself being incredibly intimidated. Maybe it's because I *am* a little intimidated by the talent of the other musicians. They're so good at what they do. I'm a renaissance woman musically, but they astound me with the things they do.
So I played my special part, and immediately sought affirmation from Eddie and Cherie. (After the worship team finished and exited to our room where we listen to the sermon.) "Was that ok?" "Did it sound right?" "Were you happy with it?" They quieted my fears, but I still resolved (to myself) to do better during the next service.
And again I played, and it went well, but I still found myself hoping for reassurance...or I'll be honest, for praise.
And then God spoke to me by way of a song. More precisely, by a guitar lick.
I'm not kidding! I was sitting on the couch in our little room, over analyzing how I had just played, and a song intro just popped into my head. It took me a few seconds to remember the first line of the song, but then it came: "For the praises of man, I will never ever stand..."
I sat there, convicted and humbled, and reminded that it doesn't matter. If I played just like a CD, or if I played something beautiful and new, or if I played as well as the incredibly talented musicians there with me, or if my playing impressed someone or made someone happy or anything else. Yes, I need to do my best, and approach every opportunity I have to play with excellence and integrity. But the most important part is having the correct posture of the heart. *Why* am I doing this?
Of course I like to know that I'm being a blessing, and I've been genuinely encouraged by different comments from members of my church family. But once that encouragement becomes something I seek -- a requirement to determine if I played well enough on any given Sunday morning -- my heart has changed.
It can be a fine line, but that morning I crossed to the wrong side. I confess. I let my perfectionism and insecurity get the better of me. I was hoping to get praise instead of giving it. I'm thankful for that still small voice (guitar intro?) for reminding me why I play, and who I'm playing for.
May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord. (Psalm 19:14)
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.