Once upon a time… No, that’s the beginning of a fairy tale, so that just won’t do for this one.
In a galaxy far, far away… I wish on this one, but no, that won’t do either.
Uhhh, so a few years ago… that’s better. Sorry – how do you start a embarrassing confession?
A few years ago, I must confess, I had the most embarrassing moment of my life. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in August 2009, we were heading out to San Francisco to church. That summer we were serving with an awesome church in San Francisco (C3SF) – it was such an great experience by the way – but back to the story. I was in a rush to finish getting myself ready and as is my usual routine, the last thing I do is get my shoes on before running out the door. My regular M.O. is “running,” more often than not. This time however, it bit me in the proverbial back side. I didn’t bother to turn on the light, but ran to the closet in the dark reach down for my black flats, quickly step in and I’m off, out the door and into the car.
Off we go, stopping at Starbucks, a must for a trip to the City. My usual, at the time, was a YUMMY mocha (that’s when I was still drinking them). The trip was uneventful, we arrive, run inside and go to work…doing whatever we were assigned on that day. The service was beginning…the count down had begun…10, 9, 8….4, 3, 2, 1! *BAM* I stand to worship and after a quick glance at my feet… Realization…I’m frozen…in complete shock. WHAT??? OMG, I’M WEARING TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SHOES!
Mortified and hoping no one was looking, I quickly remove the shoes and try my best to get back into worship. Unfortunately my feet wouldn’t leave my mind, so that service was shot. I don’t even remember what happened after that. God could have cared less, but I was to absorbed to realize. I spent the balance of my morning trying to hide.
Why am I sharing this? Well, it came back in my brain recently and, after the familiar cringe of embarrassment subsided, I wondered if there was something the Lord wanted to say. It’s one of those life experiences that you don’t ever forget, so what could I possibly learn from this red-faced episode in my life? Here’s what has come:
Truth be told, I was in a rush because I wasn’t prepared for the next day’s activities, not physically, mentally or spiritually. Being prepared for whatever the Lord has in store is huge. If I was to do something specific that day, forget it. I wasn’t looking for open doors. I was focused on myself.
- Firm-footed stability? Nope. Barefooted and unstable.
- Readiness? Again NOT. I wasn’t ready for anything.
- Peace? That was the last thing on my mind. I wasn’t ready to face my enemy firm-footed and stable with the Word of God in my mind, ready to minister. That day I was scattered, self-focused, just plain rattled.
Why darkness? If I would have just turned on the light, I might have avoided this unfortunate choice…I’ll never know what God may have had in store for me that day.
Darkness was a plague, one of God’s judgments when Pharaoh wouldn’t let the people go. The story is found in Exodus 12. What’s interesting in all the plagues, including darkness, is they never touched His people! In the darkness, His light shined. Take a moment and imagine that…watching God at work! Okay, back to the story…
God also showed Israel how to prepare for the freedom coming – in fact it was a perfect example of preparation. There is a lot to this story, so to set the stage, here’s a bit of background in a nutshell:
- The Children of Israel had been hoping for deliverance for 430 years – and they weren’t very happy in their present circumstances and made that very clear to God. Yet God heard them.
- Moses had been going to Pharaoh over and over asking him to let the Children of Israel go on a 3-day journey to “Worship” the Lord.
- God’s mighty power went to work against the Egyptians and Pharaoh. They saw water to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock diseased, boils, thunder and hail, locusts, darkness, and now the last plague – death of the first-born was about to happen…
Enter God’s instructions to Moses on this “Passover;” it’s the picture of where the preparation begins. We start at what they were to do with the blood of the lamb…
“…Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses… That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast… This is how you are to eat it:
-with your cloak tucked into your belt,
-your sandals on your feet and
-your staff in your hand.
-Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover…”
They were told to eat this meal acting as if they were leaving Egypt at any moment, preparing to be FREE! That’s readiness, even with darkness (at night) and death (of all the firstborn Egyptians) all around.
Fast forward. Unlike then, now I must be in a constant state of preparation. One little example from my life…I’m so blessed to sing on our worship team at church and also share in leading the church to that Holy Place. It’s my passion. In any type of ministry, you cannot “fake it till you make it.” The lack of preparation and heart condition shows. My heart has to be in line with Gods and that takes being prepared. No not perfect, but yielded and surrendered to Him, and dependent on His merciful grace. I’m constantly listening to worship music for my own need of Him, but also I think “oh…the church would love to worship God with this one!” It’s like studying the Bible for nuggets, worship nuggets. When a song bites my spiritual senses, I hear the anointing on it and have to share it.
Okay I’m done…and rather amazed at how much God showed me through this red faced blunder…at least it brought some meaning to it and not just embarrassment. I honestly think that we can learn something from every crazy, amazing, embarrassing, unnerving, scary, lovely, wonderful thing that happens to us.
Isn’t God good that way? You are indeed Wonderful in all Your Ways!
Oh…and one more very important thought – my “note to self” —
…get dressed in the dark!
Worship Photo @ New Season Christian Worship Center taken by Yvette Martinez