It’s the perfect example of my strength being my weakness. And the most unfortunate part of it all is that I’ve often excused it as others around me gush words like, “I just don’t know how you do it. You have a husband, four young kids and a dog. You’re a worship leader, choir director and song writer at an exploding multi-venue church. You travel to teach or lead from time to time. And yet you never seem to miss a beat”.
Ha! Well, first of all, let’s just get one thing clear. Plenty of beats have been missed. Plenty. Just ask my family or the dog who didn’t get fed till 10:00pm last night (the dog not my family, thankfully - but that’s not my point). Here’s the thing. Beats tend to get missed when we take an honest look at the one thing that is accepted as nearly universally true about us women in modern culture. We live in the midst of the soccer mom phenomenon, so for better or worse, in order to function, we’ve learned to become notorious multi-taskers. Can I get an ‘amen sista’?
As proof, just put us all under a microscope between the hours of 5:00pm and 6:00pm any weekday to see a perfect display of this is action. It’s pretty much the same everywhere whether we work outside the home or not. See if this scenario sounds familiar.
On the backside of errands too numerous to name, I pull into our driveway and emerge from my 7 passenger vehicle with at least one child toting piano lesson books under one arm and a soccer ball under the other. And like clowns coming out of the car at the circus, the rest of my pre-school to elementary age gang quickly pours out sporting backpacks, baseball equipment and guitar gear. As they make their way through the garage to the mud room, I follow them carrying a bag of just purchased groceries, while talking on my cell phone to my husband as he drives home from work. Without even indicating a change of scene to the handsome man on the other end of the line, I step into my kitchen, grab the defrosted pork chops from the fridge, continue to hold up my end of what I’m hoping is coming off as an intelligent phone conversation, head out to the back porch, turn on the grill, go back inside, stop by the laundry room, switch a load from the washer to the drier, keep talking to my husband, flip the pork chops, cut up some salad veggies and motion for someone to help set the table. All of this while managing a well timed, heart-felt, but admittedly somewhat distracted “wow, honey, it sounds like you had a huge day”.
While this balancing act may be a laudable skill on the home front, I’m learning that it’s not so desirable in my life as a worshiper. Whether it’s during a personal worship moment or a time when I’m leading a room full of people to the feet of the only One who absolutely is worthy to command our full attention, it’s oddly tempting (though it really shouldn’t be if you think about it), to flip into “keep all the balls in the air” task mode. Still, comparatively silly thoughts like ‘did I remember to plug in the crock pot before I left?’ have moved across my consciousness during what should have otherwise been holy moments.
I recently wrote and recorded a song called “We Adore Thee”. As I always do with new material, I introduced it to our choir at a Wednesday night rehearsal. Every time my fellow worshipers sang the word “adore” my heart was just blown away. I started thinking about how adoration, at its core, pre-supposes all of my affection. All of my attention. All of my passion.
I love this definition of adoration: “to be fully fixed upon without distraction”. I ran across that phrase years ago. I can’t remember where it came from anymore, but the bottom line is this -- it’s impossible to adore someone or something authentically if we can easily be distracted from it. In that moment, that Wednesday night, as the choir and I sang together, the words to that song meant more to me than I knew them to mean even at the time I wrote them. Adoration requires all of me. Wow. Some days when I’m feeling pulled especially thin, it seems like that’s asking a lot. But that’s what Jesus offers me. All of Him. How can I offer Him less?
It’s my prayer for all of us who God has called to worship ministry and leadership pressed alongside a great calling to marriage and parenthood. May we be fully present in His presence. May we lay down the play-by-play triage of the day. May we be in utter awe of who He is. And may we bring our whole undistracted selves before Him to worship our most high King.