Black Sheep Bass-ic Training

Doing The Christian Walk With A Funky Strut

Emergence from the solitude

on April 13, 2014

So I did something weird this last week.  Put myself on a week-long solitary retreat from EVERYTHING.  Even church.  Had someone kindly sub for me on Worship Team.

My days consisted of nothing but getting in the Word and spending time with God, and stewarding the musical gift He’s given me.  And taking good care of my physical body–decent diet, sleep, bit o’ exercise.  Did not leave the house.  Kept contact with people to absolute bare minimum via text message and e-mail.  No phone calls.

Like I said, weird.  People just don’t do this.  But.  I felt led to do it and I am oh so glad I obeyed.

Takeaways:

–Newfound appreciation for God as a loving Father who always wants the best for His children.  Gained through reading in the Old Testament of account after account where, even after He’d allowed His people’s enemies to overrun them because of their disloyalty and disobedience to Him, He still would go after those very same enemies if/when they got an attitude about it.  Like, “Oh, no, you’re not going to sit here and mock My kids now because I’ve got them on punishment.  I only LET you do what you did.  Keep up the ego trip and I’ll give you what I gave them.”  And He would give it to them good.  And no matter HOW bad Israel/Judah were, He always sought a way to bring them back around, He wanted fellowship with them so much.  We all know, of course what He ultimately did to this end–gave us His Son Jesus.  But.  To go back and see how many times He kept trying before that…how many times He was merciful…how many times He gave them a free pass…the depth to His love for us is truly unsearchable.

–Reworking of priorities.  Time to stop just SAYING God is #1 priority and to start backing it up with meaningful action, CONSISTENTLY.

–I need to do less to keep the household ticking smoothly than I think I do.  Need to be aware of when I’m creating ‘busywork’, and I also need to be diligent about routine scheduling, so as not to interfere with time set aside for the pursuits that matter.

–Much-needed perspective shift regarding my job.  Praying I can carry through this peace to actual time on the company’s premises, and be the light I’m supposed to be.

–Increased proficiency on both bass and trombone.  Bass…I might yet be able to slap, got down to brass tacks with a workbook and had some success with the exercises so far.   Increasing my fingerstyle speed in the meantime.  Etc etc etc.  (logged crazy hours spanking plank and have the calluses to prove it)  Trombone–had borrowed a friend’s horn about 2 months back in hopes of recapturing glory of 20 years past.  *laugh*  Was shocked at how quickly the embouchre started to come back with just 15 minutes blowing a day.  Praying I get that house I’m waiting for soon, so horn practice doesn’t entice a call to Chicago’s finest.  🙂

–Experiential awareness that as long as you stay busy doing/thinking right things, you don’t have time to mess with the bad.  Did not crave junk food once, didn’t even THINK about it…didn’t get off into negative thinking or brooding…didn’t indulge ANY of my bad habits.  Didn’t have time.  I either had a Bible or a bass in my hand for the majority of my waking hours.  Hard to wallow about the injustices at work when you’re busy picking apart Jeremiah or trying to memorize chord changes for worship tunes, for example.

–Got practice leaning on God to get past my #1 excuse: “I don’t feel like it.”  I called on Him a number of times to press me past my feelings and into something fruitful.  And He faithfully gave me the fortitude I needed, every single time I asked.   I need to remember this.

–I did come out with what I prayed for…a deeper hunger for more of God, and a deeper desire to develop the gifts He’s given me and be a better steward of His provision.

There were many smaller side things as well.  Bottom line:  This was a good thing.  And I think I need to make it an annual thing.  More emphasis on prayer and meditation next time.

Father, help me to carry out everything You’ve taught me in these days, so people can see what a difference having You in one’s life makes.

 

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