Recently, as I was teaching at Music in the Mountains (our summer choral conference in Gatlinburg, TN), a less than flattering picture was taken of me right as I was illustrating a point. And it seems that the distribution of this photo became inevitable. It was just too special not to share.
For those of you who missed it, let me explain what I was doing when the “photo bomb” happened. You see, I was re-enacting a moment from the third grade when I held my breath so long (while the teacher was out of the classroom) that I fainted. I had learned how to make my face turn red by holding my breath. And I, never one to miss the opportunity to get some attention, apparently needed some. So, on a dare, I demonstrated my talent for the class. When I came to, my teacher was standing over me with a wet cloth and fan. Not good.
The point I was trying to make at the conference was that as worship leaders, there is a spiritual discipline we usually don’t do very well – REST. We are so busy doing the stuff of ministry and life that we seldom, if ever, find time to EXHALE. And, I was bemoaning the fact that if some of us don’t exhale soon, we’re going to wind up on the floor just like I did in the third grade.
That was the sound of the world taking another picture of a fallen soldier so weary that he or she made an awful mistake or fell over in exhaustion. We need to learn the rhythm of Sabbath – not as a day in the week – and not as a rule to follow so we can be more holy, but as a pattern of resting and working so we can be more effective for the long haul.
Paul warns us in I Corinthians to run as someone who intends to finish. I’m afraid we are so careless with this discipline that we are running like people who can’t finish the race.
Turn the phone off sometimes. Quit looking at email every ten seconds. Give social media a rest every once in a while.
And EXHALE! – before someone takes your picture.