I went to the Will Graham celebration Friday night and Saturday night, and I was looking forward to Sunday night. That is, until Sunday happened. I met my LifeWay co-worker Beth at the KWC band concert, and afterwards I decided to treat myself to some bread knots from Fetta’s before I went to the convention center to hear Will Graham speak and Aaron Shust perform one last time.
Except, the waitresses at Fetta’s forgot about me and I waited 15 minutes for them to take my order. I was stewing. It was already 5:30 by the time I left Fetta’s. And then I went to my car and someone parked so close to me that I had to crawl through my passenger door. I did a very un-Christian thing and left a nasty note (with a curse word) on the person’s windshield. Then, when I got to the convention center, there was no parking and I was ticked about that. I found a parking spot and was pulling into it from the back when a lady tried to turn into my spot. I did a very un-Christian-like thing again and gave her a dirty look as I continued pulling into the spot. When I finally entered the convention center, I was mad again because there was no good seats left and I had to sit in the back. And then I was mad because my friend Beth was a little late showing up. So to say my heart wasn’t in it was an understatement. I was literally stewing with anger. At one point I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be here. I’m just going to leave” but something told me that I especially needed to be there tonight. So I stayed. I whispered a prayer to God that He would change my heart. At first when the praise team (of worship leaders from all around Owensboro) sang, I just stood there. But then I finally opened my mouth and let the words wash over me.
Aaron Shust led us in worship. I honestly can’t remember what songs he sang (anyone remember?) but I do recall one of them was a hymn and the other was a new song of Aaron’s.
Will Graham brought the word, and it was so soothing to an aching heart. He spoke from Matthew 27:11-26, about how Pontius Pilate had a choice to make about Jesus. Pontius Pilate didn’t want to make a choice, and he let the people decide Jesus’ fate– the cross. Each one of us has our own choice to make about Jesus– will we trust him to be Lord of our lives and have a personal relationship with him, or would we “wash our hands” of him like Pontius Pilate did?
I haven’t mentioned it to anyone, but these past few weeks I’ve had nightmares. I’ve been afraid to go to sleep because I was afraid I’d wake up in Hell. I’d be laying in bed and the thought of Hell would just come over me and I knew I was going there. I didn’t understand how it could be. I’m a Christian, right? I go to church, read devotionals, teach Sunday school, even work at LifeWay. I was talking about it with my sister, and she said it could be a sign that something isn’t right in my life.
As Will was speaking, he said if your heart is pounding, then it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I just knew that I’m a “Christian” but I hadn’t developed that personal relationship with God. I whispered to Beth, “Come with me” and I stepped out of the row to go to the front. Will prayed a prayer of salvation, and we repeated the words, and I meant them in my heart.
Then, Aaron Shust came out for a mini-concert. I was so, so happy to hear him sing one more time. Also, I wanted Beth to see Chad the cute guitar player and judge if he’s cute. (Beth: “Meh. Not that cute.” Me: “WE CANNOT BE FRIENDS ANYMORE.”)
After the show, Aaron and his crew were scrambling to hit the road, but I had to get a quick photo with Chad the cute guitar player. (For the wall at LifeWay, I said.)
And then I ran into Aaron’s drummer JP as we were leaving, and I got a photo with him too. (He’s actually following my Twitter and Instagram and I’m kinda excited. Little ole nobody me has someone cool following me!)
By the time you’re reading this, I will have already gone to work on Tuesday night. You can only guess what photos will be decorating the wall of the LifeWay office.