I like loud. Yeah, I understand, I'm not supposed to, it's not good for me, but I like it anyway.
For the last several years, I've been a singer in a band called "Third Watch". We are the worship band for Evergreen United Methodist Church, but we are also a kickin' cover band, specializing in music from the sixties, seventies and eighties. In other words, just about anything that our Fearless Leader, Barry, is interested in. May I say, in all modesty (or lack thereof), WE ROCK. (The picture is of our band in an earlier incarnation, but I'm the chick on the microphone, of course!)
I spend several hours a week in rehearsal and performance with my band mates. And this week, we needed a lot of rehearsal time to pull off FL's plan: a performance of Huey Lewis' "Power of Love". Our keyboard guy and our horn player both had a lot of hard work to pull off the eighties sound that the piece needed, and FL worked up a cool guitar solo to go with it. But it took a good three hours of rehearsal time on Saturday to put all of the disparate pieces together so that we sounded like a band, not just five people making random loud noises.
After a while, the sound came together, in spite of various and sundry problems with the sound system. Time after time, the monitors (the set of speakers aimed at the musicians, not the audience, to give them an idea how they sound) would cut in and out. We'd stop and work on the board, the monitors, the amps, just about anything we could think of, trying to get everything to sound right consistently. And we thought we had it nailed down.
Move to this morning's service. We opened the service with "Power of Love", and it went pretty well, as well as the rest of the praise set. Yet, the sound system continued to cause us intermittent problems. And the sound levels needed to be constantly tweaked from the board. Yikes! It's a very good thing that we have excellent people doing the sound, because once the band cranks it up, it is no longer able to deal with the glitches, it's all in the hands of the sound guy. We were able to concentrate on doing what we came there to do, lead the congregation in singing to God, and leading into Pastor D's message for the morning.
Thinking about this, I've come to two conclusions about this morning:
First, sometimes your best efforts aren't going to be quite good enough. We're a good band, no doubt about it. But sometimes, in spite of the group's talent and our best efforts, it's not going to turn out the way we want it to. This morning, we were LOUD. When you have a trumpet, double keyboards, and a bass going, plus singers, (in a small sanctuary!) your sound levels can sometimes be somewhere in the neighborhood of overwhelming!
Even when we are doing the best we can, and using the gifts and talents that God gave us, it's not always going to be the way we want it to be. That's part of being human, and it can be humbling from time to time.
Second, and more importantly, accepting help is necessary! Sometimes, we need help from our sound guy, who is up there working on the board to even out the sound, and bring the volume down to a level where it isn't painful to the audience. Sometimes, it's other people with suggestions on what they liked and didn't like. Sometimes, it's volunteers who want to work with us, so that we can do even more interesting music.
In day-to-day life, it's the same for all of us. Accepting help and advice may sometimes be annoying or painful, I know. It is for me, that's for sure. But, since none of us know everything, it's good to listen to the people that God sends into our lives, and accept their help when we need it. Take it from a fairly loud person, sometimes I need to hear that I should tone it down!
So, another Sunday ended, another week begins. I hope I can manage to remember this long enough to use it as my fall semester gets started this week.
Let's make some music together!
Your (no microphone necessary) sis,