My room was always pretty noisy. The further I got in my teenage years the more passionate I became about music, and the more I grew to love music the longer I spent practicing playing it. All my career aspirations were tied up in my potential as a musician, and I lived for nothing more than the thrill of filling my room with the sounds that filled my head.
But in 1992 something happened. My room fell silent.
It started when I noticed the cracks beginning to emerge. For the first time I started to question whether my laser-like focus really was the best thing for me after all.
I started to wonder whether the sacrifices were worth it.
And what if I got all I wanted and still found that it wasn’t enough. What on earth would I do then?
So I began looking for meaning.
I read books – a lot of biographies of people who had searched in ways that I too wanted to search. I found myself looking back into the past – way back to the ancient monastic writings where men and women searched hard for meaning and truth, rejecting the mainstream culture that they saw as a distraction.
Without even knowing it, I was running to God. And the closer I got, the less I played. The more I thought about the ultimate source of all life, love and goodness, the quieter my room became.
Eventually – after joining a church, giving my life to Jesus and discovering the world of Vineyard worship music – the music came back to my room. But it was different this time. Instead of playing to increase my earning potential, I was playing for the audience of one.
I believe that God’s as kind as He is wise.
He knows how easily we can get distracted, and I believe He gives us the desire to let go of every distraction when our hearts are headed towards Him.
And I believe that if we would be willing to let go of everything to know Christ, He will work in us in amazing ways. He’ll help build strong character, He’ll nurture wisdom – the kind of wisdom to get along with the people we collaborate with, to make the most of every opportunity, to manage our careers well and be good stewards of all He has given us.
What I didn’t know then was that there would be a whole lot more silence in my life. You see, I’m convinced that the process of growing to be the person that God intended us to be is a never-ending evolution.
We don’t just surrender once. We do it often.
There’s a reason why the early Christians changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. In the Jewish culture, Saturday was the end of the week, and ending it with a day of reflection, rest and celebration of God reminded them of the way God ended the Creation story.
But for the early Christians, everything was new. Jesus had come to earth in order to make things different, to allow everyone to start again. Sunday – the first day of the week – became the logical day for the Sabbath.
God is there at the beginning. In our questions and our stumbles, in our half-formed hunches and hazy hopes. God is there with us. He does not reserve His rewards exclusively for those who have completed the journey; He travels with us, step by step, day by day, hour by hour.
Sometimes the biggest challenge to each of us is pausing long enough to notice Him right beside us.