We’ve all had those moments. When we’re working, serving, helping a friend, planning an event or just trying to do life and we just drop the ball. Something goes wrong, we forget an important detail, we miss a deadline or, for whatever reason, we just screw it up. And if feels like you let the whole world down.
I’ve had these moments a lot. Being on stage in front of (quite literally) all of you every week is a pretty vulnerable spot to serve. Sure, I’m using my gifts just like someone who is super welcoming is doing as a greeter, or just like someone who has a passion for kids is in Grace Kids, but if I screw up …dang. Everyone just saw that. Like, literally everyone. The whole world knows I had one job and I just dropped the ball. I had ONE JOB, PEOPLE!
Or at least, that’s what it feels like. That’s what it feels like if my priorities are all out of whack.
Let’s back up and unpack that for a minute.
In life, and especially in serving, it can be super easy to get caught up in the DOING of things, and not WHY we are doing things. We lose sight of the point of it all, which makes a screw-up feel like a catastrophic implosion of all was once good in the world.
For instance, I had a very funny moment, to myself, this past Teams Night. We were nearing the end of the night and it was my job to play the intro to the next song. It was a super reverent moment, we had just prayed, and God was moving us in a really personal and powerful way. I started the intro…
And TOTALLY SCREWED IT UP.
I mean, there are cute moments of failing. And then there are total bombs. This was a bomb.
It was like my hands couldn’t remember how to play the piano for a whole 10 seconds, which in the life of a song, is a LIFETIME.
But what was going through my brain was the following:
[starts piano line, plays something wrong]
Hmm, that wasn’t right. That’s okay, let’s fix it this time.
[plays some more, really, really wrong notes]
Welp, that wasn’t right either. Jesus take the wheel please.
[bombs some more]
Okay, you’re really going to have to take the wheel because if it’s only up to me, we’re really screwed.
[tries to save it, still bombs, but finishes]
Phew, catastrophe over. Okay, where were we?
What’s interesting here is that while I was a little embarrassed, I wasn’t worried. I knew I had failed, but that is somewhat inevitable since I’m, oh you know, a HUMAN. I wasn’t worried because in that very small moment of failure, I wasn’t thinking about how I had failed, I was earnestly praying God would work through my failure anyway.
A few years ago, if I had made that mistake like that, I think I would have beat myself up about it for a few days. After all, I had one job, right?
But what I’ve learned, or maybe just realized I’ve learned, is that when our hearts and minds are totally fixed on Him— when we are focused on pointing to Him in the tasks we complete rather than just the tasks — God is going to work through it no matter what. He just is.
I think we also forget that we may not always immediately see the fruit of following Him in those moments. I remember one day when we got done with a service and I had felt like I just didn’t do a great job leading anyone to Christ that day. We had done a song I had written and it felt like it completely flopped. I was ready to go home and sulk.
But before I left the building, someone came up to me and made a point of saying that today, during that same song, they had been the most moved they’d been in church in years.
Sometimes we get little glimpses of how He uses our failures and we have to hold tight to those in the moments when we have no clue. In the moments when we’ve been faithfully serving and we’re not sure if it’s making a difference, or in the moments when we openly fail and it feels like the whole world saw.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Sometimes we have to remember — that even when you had one job and screwed it up, God’s grace literally has got you covered.