Sunday, October 2, 2011

You Put Your Whole Self In

Why quote the Hokey Pokey song when thinking about physical and spiritual well-being? And why stop with just putting my “whole self in” and “not taking my whole self out”?

Well, let me share a non-running story—for once, in recent times. This story is about the worship band at our church. This fall, I was given a chance to reconsider a decision I’d made at the start of 2010—after several years of playing bass and singing with the worship band at our church, I decided to pull back for a while because I was struggling spiritually and I had too much going on. The person who took my place as the regular bass play for 20 months is a better bass player than I am, but recently he was finding that other commitments were becoming a big deal for him. So, I am now the regular player again and enjoying the opportunity.

On most Sundays there are enough singers that I can just play bass and concentrate more on my bass playing—which leads to improved bass playing. However, this week, the worship band was a mixed group of some core members, one alumna, and a couple substitutes. It went well. As a result of the lack of singers, I was able to have a microphone and just play on a few songs while choosing to sing and play on a few others. It was a nice mix and I was able to concentrate my efforts where they were needed most.

The key for me was that the feeling was different. In addition to just playing for the joy of playing—not because I had been the bass player almost from the start and wondered who else would play (which was why I felt like I was playing at the end of 2009) and not just because I was asked to sub (between the start of 2010 and the start of September this year)—the opportunity to put my “whole self” into the music was amazing. It felt so empowering. It helped me feel the joy. Sometimes just playing bass doesn’t feel quite like putting my whole self into the music. And, of course, I would not ever want to take my whole self back out.

So, I’ve written about doing things that bring me joy. I wrote, sometime in the past twelve months, about feeling God’s joy when I run. Now, I am reminded about the joy that I feel and that I can tell God feels when I put my whole self into something. Taking it a bit further, just the other day I commented on the importance of focusing on one thing at a time in some cases. It is interesting to consider all the good that might come and all that I might accomplish from putting my whole self into something that brings me and God joy.

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