A Broken and Contrite Heart

Tunes: Relient K, Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been

Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…”

My heart is so shattered. In the wake of a failed marriage I sought to fill the void with every kind of community and ministry that I could get myself involved in. Now I do 10 million things and individually, they are all good, but collectively, serving the Church is killing my faith. I feel God calling me to “cut” ministries out of my life, but it’s so difficult.

I’ve dug roots into the deep recesses of a soil that doesn’t want to let me go.

I’m trying to keep everything in context. I’m been wrestling with my future path. When I moved to Saginaw I thought I’d only be here for a few months and that turned into a year, and now God may want me here longer. God has put so many roadblocks to me going to seminary I have to wonder if I am really called there.

For a long time I have felt a call to go to worship school to be a church musician. This was very evident to me in Texas where my church didn’t have a worship team, and as my guitar lay in the corner collecting dust I felt blackness with in my soul.

I was the wicked servant who buried his talent in the ground claiming that the master would reap where he had not sowed. When I started a guitar class and my high school students lead worship, a new light dawned. I felt this again when I got back from worshiping with Michael Gungor at Acquire the Fire. Then when I went to this worship conference last week my heart was pulverized by the Spirit and open to his leading. This last week I’ve been praying over what God wants me to do in the long run and I feel such a strong calling to be a full time Church musician.

This is a scary thing. The options have always been: pastor or youth pastor. I guess I’ve never doubted whether I would be a good pastor or youth worker. God has confirmed over and over again that I’m good at all the stuff that is required of these two vocations. But I’ve always doubted my musical ability.

When I lived in Texas my ex-wife’s camp held a Christian music festival called “Lutherstock” where people like Lost and Found and Agape would play but they would have local bands open. My wife was talking to me about who should play the next year and I said, “Billy Chia.” She laughed. She thought I was being sarcastic. In all fairness I make jokes and I’m sarcastic all the time and people always tell me, “Billy, I can never tell when you’re being serious.” Well this is the price I paid for not letting my “yes be yes” and my “no be no.” I was serious about playing Lutherstock but my ex-wife just didn’t think I had the talent.

Blah, I hate feeling this way. I hate the uncertainty. Submission is so hard. I wonder if I just want to do music because I’ve done the whole theology/Biblical languages thing in college and as much as I’m looking forward to the experience of Seminary, I’m not looking forward to the classes. I’ve been there/done that. And my time in Texas satiated my need be a youth minister. Is music just my new ephemeral passion that’s going to fade in the long run? I mean in a way that’s silly, I was doing music way before I was ever involved in the Church. It was the one gift I brought to the Church that I didn’t learn there. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13, around the same time I felt a call to be a pastor.

Deep down inside there’s a voice that says, “Ya know what Billy, God’s really gonna be happy regardless of what you do as long as you are serving him. It’s not really his ‘will’ for you to be a youth pastor, or ordained pastor, or worship leader, or graphic designer. In essence it’s your call, just do it to his glory and you’ll be good to go.” That’s even harder to deal with. I make so many crazy mistakes and do so many stoopid things I don’t want to be in charge of choosing what to do when I grow up. I mean for goodness sakes I’m 26 and a ½ and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I need to grow up already. Jonny, I’ve stayed golden for too long and it’s time for Ponyboy to move on.

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