I am so thankful that I forgot to remember Friday night was supposed to be about the fight. Had I remembered, I might have missed the promise.
And ya'll, I was overwhelmed by the promise.
The opening band took the stage, and I wasn't even sure who these guys were. I'd never heard of them before, and when they walked out in their various leather clothings and started strumming a guitar and banging on a tom-tom, I was skeptical. These two seeming-nobodies, maybe wannabes? These two kids with the chance of this stage....and they ROCKED it. (They probably wouldn't like me calling them kids. They were probably at least my age, if not slightly older.) But they totally rocked it and are definitely one of my favorite new sounds coming out in Christian music. If you have the chance to look up Love & the Outcome, do so. You won't regret it.
Then, darkness. A dim light coming in and out as the main band set up their stage. As they were dragging out their guitars, pulling the covers off their set, walking around in semi-darkness to get situated, you could feel the anticipation in the air. The absolute excitement of an auditorium full of people who had purchased a ticket not for Love & the Outcome, not just to sit in a high school auditorium for nostalgia's sake, not for the chance to visit the merchandise table, but for the chance to hear these guys worship. These big-name guys. The place was vibrating in the stillness and the collective breath seemed to just linger.... Everyone was ready for these guys.
As I looked around at the smiles on the faces of young and old alike, it just kind of hit me. Who are these guys anyway? They're kind of nobody. Not to offend them in any way because they are incredible at what they do, but they're not really anybody special. They are just guys with a chance to take the stage.
I sort of half-knew that was true before I walked into that evening. I knew that two of the guys from the band went to the same college as I did. It had just never occurred to me, I guess, the discrepancy between knowing they had gone to that college, knowing they had sat in the same chapel, knowing we were there at the same time for at least a year....and realizing what an awesome platform they have now. It had never occurred to me the indescribability of how a couple of small-town, no-name guys and their friends now had an auditorium full of people anxious to hear them worship.
But it hit me then. And in the same indescribable moment, for just a second, I wondered what it must be like to be a nobody with a stage. Then I smiled because I'm getting there. I grinned because in that second, all the promise God has put in my life for such things came full down on my heart and I couldn't help myself.
Not....not because I'm some incredibly great anything. Not that at all. Simply because...because I want to be the kind of artist, the kind of gifted creation, the kind of humble worshiper that has people on the edge of their seats with anticipation for the word of God. For the presence of God. For the worship of God. I want to be the kind of writer and speaker who brings God to life in such a way that a whole group of people is waiting to hear that word for no other reason than that it brings them to Life. I want to give God so much glory that everyone else wants to come and do it with me. Fully aware, of course, that I will always be a nobody, stage or no.
That doesn't bother me, this being a nobody. I am one, and I hope always to be. There's just no reason I can't also be incredible - an incredible nobody, good at what I do. Blessed with the chance to take the stage (whether that is ever physical or only ever metaphorical). I am looking forward to the promise of God in my life. For that chance to bring others to worship. To bring them to God.
I am so thankful Friday night that I forgot to remember. Had I spent my night fighting, I never would have heard the whisper. I never would have known. And I never would have done the completely crazy, unexpected, unplanned, first-ever thing that I did when that group of nobodies left the stage.
That part of the story tomorrow...