Several months ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to become part of Gateway Worship Vocals, a fancy name for the Gateway Choir. I underestimated what I was getting involved in (in a really good way!); this is no ordinary church choir. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but GWV is an out-of-the-box ministry. It consists of phenomenal leaders and vocalists, but out of all the rehearsals I’ve been to so far, do you know that we’ve spent more time worshipping and praying than actually singing? I’ll admit, that kind of threw me for a loop at first, but it became apparent very quickly that the worship ministry at Gateway really is all about the heart first, and talent second. It makes all the difference.
Part of the GWV commitment requires new members to complete 12 Worshipper’s Foundation lessons (teachings about the Tabernacle, what we can learn from it’s symbolism and how it relates to worship today) and 12 Worshipper’s Character lessons (all about understanding our gifts and honoring the Lord with them) within 3 months. As of tonight, I am finally finished with all of the lessons! Woohoo! Each one of them was outstanding and refreshed my heart abundantly towards worship ministry.
I was convicted this afternoon as I listened to a couple of teachings about the reward of going through the process of life and of ministry. The instructor said “the journey is the reward” and something deep within me shifted. A mindset, a perspective.
Often, I find myself so intent on reaching future goals and progressing at an acceptable rate that I forget to just slow down and take it all in. My mom has told me over and over again since having my son “The laundry and dishes will wait, so enjoy your baby because it flies by too fast.” Judah’s a little over 2 and a half, and already, I know she’s right. I don’t want to be so focused on the next milestone of his life that I miss the fulfillment of just enjoying his contagious laughter and slobbery kisses today. Every moment with him is a step of the journey and the journey is the reward.
The same is true for our walks with the Lord. The Israelites were led into the desert by the Lord before they reached the Promised Land (for 40 years!), it was for the purpose of building and earning character that could sustain them once they stepped foot into that new land. The seasons of life come and go like the ebb and flow of ocean tides and it is in these ups and downs that we are formed and chiseled and shaped into more of His likeness. As you look back on your life, do you see that the darkest or toughest times paved the way for the most growth? I sure do. It’s a challenge, to say the least, to be thankful in the midst of hardships, but when we have our eyes set on the result of these hardships as children of God, we understand that He works it all together for good (Romans 8:28).
So when you find yourself in the middle of difficulties, remember that joy can be found in troubles, as troubles produce patience, which produces character, which produces hope (Romans 5:3-4). Yes, our greatest reward is yet to come, but don’t discount the processes of life, for these are sweet morsels to revel in both now and later on down the road.