Saturday, January 2, 2010


I read somewhere recently that when you say to God, "Use me" you better expect to be stretched. It happened to me.

Years ago, when we were fairly new to the church, Rick and Donna were also just arrived. Rick invited people who were interested to join the music ministry. Betty, who is a good singer and who had been in church choirs before, decided to overcome her natural shyness and talk to Rick after worship. I, who is the kid who was told to stand in the back row and hum all through school, tagged along. She spoke to Rick, who was very gracious and invited her to come to the next rehearsal and sit in. Donna walked up just about the time he turned to me and asked what voice I sing. I explained my musical shortcomings and while I would love to serve, I was so bad it would embarrass me and the church both to have me sing. He understood. But then Donna smiled (she is always smiling- a real gift) and said, "Then why don't you help out and watch the choir kids for us?"

Trapped! Like a rat! Here I was, the words "I would be happy to help but..." still echoing off the back wall and several eyes on me. What to say? How to wiggle out? "Well, I am not very good with kids." (True that, by the way- just ask my daughter.)

"I am sure you will do just fine," said Donna, still smiling. I suspect it was because her own kids were old enough they didn't need to be watched during rehearsal, but regardless, I was the new choir kid wrangler.

Here I was, the guy whose idea of childcare involved duct tape, watching anywhere from 3 to 8 or 9 kids in the early elementary age range. Strange thing is, I was reasonably good at it, drew no blood, and came to enjoy it. I got acquainted with several parents I might not otherwise have met, and learned a couple valuable lessons: God has a sense of humor; service takes all shapes; when a job needs to be done, you ought to be open to the need rather than your comfort zone; try it, you may like it.

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