I had to admit it… there was a slight smile as I re-read this post that I made here from my old blog. Yes, I have been blogging since 2002, in the days when there were no Kenny Sia’s and Jeff Ooi… 😛
Anyway… just a repost of an old, and very memorable event then. (I was still in Melbourne then).
Party, Piano and Priorities
Lessons I learn today about church priorities and personal service
I couldnt sleep last night because my neighbours decided to throw a party for who-knows-what-occasion. It was terrible. So terrible that I could only get an hour of uninterrupted sleep only after 5 in the morning. Bravo! I got up at 6.30. As some of you guys would know I need to go to church for practice since I am playing the piano. However, only having an hour plus worth of sleep, I dont know whether it was wise. On one hand, I recognised the necessity of my presence there. If not me, then I doubt there would be anyone else who would be able to play the piano at such short notice. I could force myself to church and get it over with. And I was almost going to toilet with that intention. But then something nagged at me. What would God want?
It is Sunday after all. And I have been around long enough to know that most Christians have lost the true meaning of church worship. Two years ago, I would definitely go and not think about ‘abandoning’ my so-called ministry at church. However, there are bigger issues to that than just fulfilling our responsibility in ‘ministry’. The first is what is the whole purpose of a church and getting up in the morning to ‘worship collectively’. As you can see, I NEVER will use the word ‘worship’ in reference to just the Sunday service. It is much bigger than that. Anyway, I know in my heart that a church functions as a means to provide believers a place to fellowship, learn, pray and communion (Acts 2:42). In all these, the focus is on loving one another by building each other spiritually.
Now, if I were to go to church for the sake of playing the piano, just because it is my ‘responsibility’ (or ministry as some would put it or see it) and will not be attentive to the sermon AND not being focused in my personal prayer and during collective prayer, what use is that to God? True, one part of me wants to argue that this is part of loving other’s by producing music, etc. But come on, no where in the NT did God even hinted on the necessity of music in any ministry!!! What gives power to the collective singing of praises in any church comes not from the melody of any instruments, but lies in the depths of the lyrics! Even if the music is horrible, the words that are uttered are recognised and comprehended in our minds and in turn speaks to our hearts. Anyway… if I care more about the music rather than how my listening to God’s word is going to be affected, something is dreadfully wrong.
Getting my priority right is not easy. I have been helping out in providing music for in churches for so long that I have lost count. It is never easy to make a decision that people might perceive to be otherwise. Some of you may think that serving in our ministry is of utmost importance, even to the extend of not being able to properly commune to God. We like to think that the ‘serving’ we do would subsitute the necessity of our listening to His eternal Words. Not so with God. As Samuel told King Saul: Obedience is better than Sacrifice.
The result of that brief (but it seemed long though) struggle with my heart, I called up Craig and told him that I could not make it. I had 2 extra hours of sleep and went to church. Surprise surprise. God blessed me in very unexpected ways. I came just 2 minutes before 10 (which is the starting time of the service) and I agreed to play the music. I made very little mistakes (which is a miracle :P) and plus the fact that although I only had in total 3.5 hours sleep, I was totally attentive during sermon and communion.
My writing style hasn’t change much, no? Hahahahaha… LT was no longer there in Melbourne since that time… Wow… It has been years!!! Thank God I blogged!