Saturday, April 23, 2011

What You See vs. What I'm Thinking

 210055_1337644418119_1741407067_573979_6149382_o I know what it looks like:

I walk on stage with confidence...  Pick up my guitar and prepare for worship...  Adeptly adjust the volume, tone, pedals... Glance at bassist, drummer and whisper encouragement... Wink at my singer wife... Nod with the 4 intro drumstick clicks...

...Slam into a clear, musical, rockin' solo to kick off a great morning of worship.

But did you ever wonder what I'm really thinking?


I walk on stage with confidence...  
It's sure dark back here. I wonder where I put my guitar case? OW! There it is. That sure was a good cup of coffee. I hope the doughnut hole didn't leave goo on my playing hand. Picking hand would be fine...keep from dropping the pick. This black curtain would sure look nice in my studio. Sweet. The goo cleaned right off! Poor curtain. Next coffee is only 20 minutes away.


Pick up my guitar and prepare for worship...  
Here's Commander Hinter mounting his 70mm Gatling gun preparing for battle! PEW PEW PEW. Out of the barrel shoots lasers right at the sound guy..."Don't make me sound sucky" bullets on their way! Hmm. Did I just mix 19th and 22nd century technology? Should I have thought a more manly sound than PEW? Maybe BLAM?


Adeptly adjust the volume, tone, pedals... 
Uh oh. Singer isn't on stage yet. Time to pay homage to my "Tone for Jesus" Facebook fan page by fiddling with my perfectly working gear so it's not obvious we're waiting. Wow. This floor sure is dirty. Maybe I should bring a rug so my gear can rest on clean surfaces? Should I have washed my hands after that doughnut!?! Wait. I didn't have a doughnut. It was a doughnut HOLE. Big difference. But it’s not really a hole. It’s a sphere. A beautiful, sugary, tasty sphere of goodness. What if they sold Latte’s as spheres? Latte innards with doughnut outer shell? OK. Singer is ready.


Glance at bassist, drummer and whisper encouragement... 
Wait. What? I don't recognize any of this music! I know we just rehearsed it 20 minutes ago...but this is the 2,637th song I've played at crossWinds and they ALL have G  D  C  Am  Em chords and an occasional Cm thrown in. Dude, telling me to read the lyrics doesn't help. They're filled with the same “God”, “Desperate”, “Wonder”, “Forever”, “Fall”, “Here I am” words as the other 2,636 songs! I AM GOING TO CRASH AND BURN!!!


Wink at my singer wife...
Maybe I can get my wife's attention. She can hum the melody in my ear like she does most other mornings. At least it's not like the evening worship where I start the song on acoustic with NO idea of tempo, time signature, nor melody, and the charts are actually laughing at me. Don't mock me, Mr. I'm-really-an-evil-upside-down-smile-not-a-sign-for-a-long-pause-Fermata. They need to invent a printer that adds a snippet of the song like the Hallmark cards so I press the paper and voilà…memory restored. DANG! Particles from the just-erected 15ft foam cross just lodged in my eye. Wife sees me in distress...she's mouthing the beat and lyrics but I can’t make it out…she looks funny… I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS SONG SOUNDS LIKE!!!


Nod with the 4 intro drumstick clicks... 
"CLICK"   OH SWEET LORD IN HEAVEN please help me remember how this song starts! "CLICK"  Then again, Is this meant to be a life lesson? I see "Big Solo" scribbled at the top of the charts. Is God trying to teach me how to be humble and not show off in church? "CLICK" That serving in a band is all about helping those in the audience to connect with God during worship and not about personal fulfillment? That is profound and God driving this teaching momen… "CLICK" AHA!!! I GOT IT! HERE WE GO! YEEE HAW!!!


Slam into a clear, musical, rockin' solo to kick off a great morning of worship... this is where we meet. Where we connect. I know it may look like I'm showboating to others, but I truly feel it is You and I dancing together on the fretboard...sharing private moments where any excellence I portray is clearly a gift from you…for the sole purpose of worshiping you through my playing. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!!


How about you? What goes through your mind when everyone is watching you?


  1. way funny Greg! I'm always counting to make sure they're more people in the audience than in the band on a Saturday night before the first click.

  2. That was very cool Gregy!

  3. That pretty much sums up my Sunday mornings to a tee!

    I will confess that, once in a while as we are about to start, I think "I can't believe I'm doing this," even though I've been doing it for 5 years now. It's not playing in front of people - I've done that since high school. It's that coming from years of traditional worship (and a stint at a "high" Episcopal church, steeped in ritual and pomp), I sometimes find in unbelievable that I play electric guitar in church. Occasionally, the very nature of the music at a contemporary service strikes me as totally bizarre.

    But once the music starts, it's as natural as breathing, and my playing is my gift to God.

    1. Totally agree, Ken! I love the "as natural as breathing".


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