I applied to join the choir at my church and after an audition, I was accepted. This is a big deal for me because choirs and I…we are not really best of friends. This has nothing to do with the choir per se and everything to do with me. But I’ll get to that later.
We were put through compulsory classes on how important worship is in the Bible and to a Christian; and I was reminded that worship is so not the music but more of the spirit – the attitude. It was good to remember. I also learned a lot about worship that I did not previously know.
With all the learning going on, it is clear that I am still on probation. And probation is good. In fact, I just love probation. It means I get to sing each choir practice, be part of a team and not have to be on stage. Yep. That is the crux of this post. The Stage.
The last time I really participated in a choir, I was still in my teens and it was the adult choir of the Anglican church my family attended. That was fine – I got to hide behind those billowing, voluptuous robes. I mean, some Sundays, my friends were not even aware that I had robed; that is how shielded I was.
While at University, I was a part of this mass choir but that was fine. We only performed once a year and there were all sorts there anyway so it was not a problem. And that, I guess has been my problem with choirs. Having to be out there in front of everybody, so to speak.
At the worship class, the choir was called a frontline ministry and boy, is it ever! You are out there Sunday after Sunday singing and practically yelling to anyone who enters the church that not only are you a Christian, but you are committed to living like one. That was my problem.
People who are out there like that are so easily judged. One trip and the next thing is “imagine, and she’s in the choir!” And the choir is said with so much outrage like just because you are in the choir you are supposed to have two shiny wings and an even shinier halo. I was just not ready for that kind of pressure. I am a backstage person. Or that is what I told myself.
What I did not realise was that I was also a backstage Christian. No I was not living a double life, but I could well have been. I did not want people pointing at me and saying ‘she’s got a testimony.’ When I was little, my dad had this computer printout on the Notice Board in this office that said something like this:
Be careful how you live your life; you might be the only Bible someone has to read
I did not want that kind of pressure, believe me. So what changed?
I did. I decided to stop hiding and let people hold me accountable. I have found that going out there each Sunday and praising God in front of so many people is my way of stepping up to plate and making my commitment known. I am not just committing to be a Jesus follower in my closet, I am committing to making every effort to follow Him in everything I do. More than that I am putting myself out there, testifying of Jesus Christ. What I am saying is “Stop me and ask; I HAVE a testimony!”
I am done hiding. It has not done me much good anyway – I usually end up making stupid mistakes I would never, in a million years have made if I had deliberately made myself the cynosure of all eyes.
But I guess I am not alone there. We all hide in various ways. We find ways to shy away from declaring our identity. So mine was with the choir, but it did not stop there. There was also the avoidance of leadership roles and responsibilities. Sometimes, it might even be looking a friend in the eye and asking may I pray with you? Something so simple as that. But we are all so scared of being branded.
I think it is time to get branded for your beliefs. If you are really passionate about something, it will be your brand. Yes, it is scary but I think that kind of commitment is definitely worth it. In the meantime, I am so glad I’m on probation.