His grace is enough, part 1

Fr. Alfonse Nazarro blogged recently:

God is not a God who fits our expectations. In fact, God works in ways that we could never imagine. That is why it is okay that we are so dumbstruck by the fact that God really does work in modern, daily life.

A few years ago, the biggest adjustment in my new ministry wasn’t the unfamiliar software, setting up the technical equipment or even arriving an hour early for prayer meeting. It was the immediacy of it all! Serving in the now.

Editing and producing a newsletter for our covenant community for 25 years and then managing the website was comfortable. I worked hard behind the scenes to look good up front. My messes were cleaned up before they went public.

Not so with the new Lyrics Ministry! Plunked down beside my son, the music leader, I learned to project the words of the songs on the screen so everyone could participate. Except me, or so I thought at first.

A vital skill in the Lyrics Ministry is staying ahead of the music leader. You can’t sing along and wait until the end of the slide to select the next one to go live. To allow enough transition time, you must click on the next slide during the singing of the last three words on the current slide.

Instead of relaxing and trusting God to guide me, I took charge of the situation, leaving him in the back seat, waiting for me to call on him. The harder I tried, the more I missed out on the praise and worship that I depend on to lift up my spirits each week. When I attempted to sing along I couldn’t stay ahead and display the next slide or jump back to the chorus slide in time.

Comparison is always deadly. Those who trained me sang and progressed the slides with ease. How do they do that without messing up? Here I was in the inner circle of musicians and yet not able to join in the joyous worship.

At the end of the meeting I set up the last song and turned it over to my assistant who was training next to me on another computer, and caught up in worship. I joined the prayer circle to sit in proxy for a friend who was ill.

Surrounded by my brothers and sisters in the Lord praying for the intentions of those of us seated in the circle, submerged me in the presence of God. His consoling love was poured out to me through the people of our covenant community. I was breathing in the love of God and breathing out my frustration. Relaxed and joyful, my needs were met fully in a few moments as if I had worshipped for the previous hour and a half instead of nervously serving.

How has the Lord worked in your life in unexpected ways when you were frustrated?

(© 2014 Nancy H C Ward)

(Continued tomorrow in part two with Matt Maher video.)

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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