Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What, Me Worry?

The ushers were in place. The crowd had been lining up for over an hour. The “green room” backstage of the Performing Arts Center at Regent was set with a small banquet of goodies for the band. All the details for Jars of Clay were prepared…leaving me only one task to complete; worry.

Oh, I know. I’m not supposed to worry. I worry about that too. If I’m worrying, then at least I feel like I’m doing my part! I worried that Jars of Clay would talk more than they would play (unfounded, as it turned out.) I worried that I would blow my lines as I asked the band questions from students. Most of all, I worried that the guys in the band would walk in, see forty people assembled for chapel, and decide that I was a loser, and that coming to Regent was a mistake.

Do you ever create doomsday scenarios in your head? I do. My stomach can get wrapped in knots that even sailors and Boy Scouts wouldn’t recognize. There I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the triple-Grammy award winning band to come on stage—suddenly awarding them the status of judge of my own worth and value. But as I watched these “stars” take the stage, to the applause of 800+ folks, I had a rare moment of insight. “Jars of Clay” was a message for me. Not the band, but the name.

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us,” said the man once known as Saul of Tarsus. If ever there was a Type-A, high-powered individual who sweated every detail, it was he. But in a blinding moment of insight, he saw all of his own gifts and talents, his accomplishments as nothing, in light of God and His power. These four normal guys, Dan, Steve, Charlie and Matt, chose this name “Jars of Clay” to remind themselves to focus on the pure liquid of God’s message. These guys proved to be so normal, so unassuming, so unworried that it spoke to me.

My worth isn’t based on my performance. If there were a few cracks in my jar, then the focus could be all the more on the pure liquid treasure of God’s wonderful message. I leaned back, smiled and enjoyed the chapel, thankful that it was God’s surpassing power at work and not my own meager gifts. But now I have to plan my next chapel….

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