Thursday, August 27, 2009

Backseat on the Bus: Travel Log

Here's another "Backseat on the Bus" blog, written on a recent road trip. Enjoy my quick thoughts!

On each "Backseat on the Bus" blog, I will write about our family's journeys and learning experiences as the Great Adventure Gospel Band.

Travel Log: August 22nd, 2009

As I write this blog, we are traveling on Highway 65 in our packed, but comfortable 15-passenger van. Our destination is Lutheran Island Camp to spend the night in a cabin. Tomorrow we will be singing at Perham, MN for a Mission Festival and it will be a long day for our family. I am typing on my new Dell laptop listening to the Isaacs sing "Walk On" (I didn’t realize how tough it can be type on a bumpy road! LOL!) I look over at my little brother Caleb as he quietly reads a book and marvel how fast he has grown up. He will be six next week and is losing the toddler look fast. Do five year olds have to grow up? :)

Wow, we have been busy! This month has been our busiest month for our music ministry, with nine "dates" total and two overnights. Did I mention we are in the midst of preparing our rooms to be repainted? And we volunteered to help out at our church’s VBS this last week? Oh, did I also say we all got sick with colds and sore throats?
I can say I’ve learned a lot this month during our travels and busyness and unfortunately I wouldn’t have enough room to share all the road stories. But here are a few of the things that have happened to me.

The first weekend in August brought Pie Day in Braham, MN and we were not able to attend as we were heading up to the Lake Itasca Family Bluegrass Festival. Nevertheless, I wanted to enter in the Pie Day Art Contest my "Berry Fairy" drawing (see my previous blog for a picture). So on Wednesday, August 5th, I left my picture at the drop-off location, not really caring if I placed at all. On the following Monday, Mom and I headed over to where the art contest was held. I was met with a surprise. When we got there, I was immediately informed that I placed FIRST in the adult category, beating a top artist who has been winning for years! How cool is that? I was so surprised and honored. FYI: I did beat my brother in the county fair back in July with my "Berry Fairy" drawing.

When we arrived home, Mom and I were talking about the whole thing and Mom said "Well, it goes to show that if you don’t try, nothing will happen." I was reminded of a woman we know who is a fabulous artist, but she keeps her drawings hidden away in a dresser drawer, and her talent of art is now gone as her hands are now stiff from old age. What a sad story!

Don’t you think of the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30? Let me paraphrase the story for you. A master was going on a long journey and, calling his servants to him, he gave each of his workers different talents (a talent was an unit of weight), some more, others less-"each according to his ability." (Matt. 25:15b) Two of the servants invested their talents and received interest from their investments while the other just buried his talent in the ground. When the master returned, he praised the first servants who used their talents while the other servant was condemned as wicked and lazy. He was promptly thrown out of the master’s service.

Are your talents shut up in a drawer somewhere? How long has it been since you’ve dusted off your talents and put them to use? Now don’t say "I don’t have any talents" for that is not true. I was talking to a woman who goes to our church after one of our concerts and she said to me in a wistful tone, "Oh, I wish I had talent like you guys." I stopped her and said, "Hey, don’t say that! You have talent! You have the gift of hospitality and a servant heart! That is a talent! Just because you do not have the gift of music and art doesn’t mean you do not have talent." I directed her to Romans 12:6-8 which talks about the different gifts among believers. So many times people have related to me their wish for "talent" and I get a little frustrated at their misconceptions. So please understand that to be talented is not only to be musical or artistic. You have talent that can be used for the Lord. As I write this, we are listening to a song that simply says, "Little is much when God is in it." Whether your talents are "small" and the results of your work is not as well seen, or "big" and very visible, if glorifying God is your motivation, than "great is your reward."

A woman said to me a few weeks ago "You have a beautiful voice and what makes it even more beautiful is that you use it for the Lord." Do not squander the talents which God has given to you. Utilize them for the Lord’s kingdom.

Okay. One more story before I go. We were at a Toney Brothers concert several weeks ago and something interesting happened to us. The Toney Brothers were singing a fast, upbeat, barn-burner which had several reprises. Ben suddenly got the urge to stand up as they started the song again. He whispered to me, "Stand up." Being a good sister, I followed his leading, as our whole family did. I looked behind me and saw everyone sitting down, staring at us. My eyes were pleading with them to stand up with us. No one stood. I was about kick Ben. I promptly sat down, my face turning several shades of red. After a while, the others sat down, except Mom. She remained standing until the end of the song, braving it out. Needless to say, I felt rather embarrassed.
Afterwards, a man came up to me and said, "That was interesting to see your mom remain standing though no one was standing with her." I was immediately struck with another wave of embarrassment with this realization: under peer-pressure, I fell…I did not remain standing. Mom, on the other hand, was strong and stood through. Many people later commented to her that they wish they’d stood up with her. I was mortified at the status of my strength under peer-pressure. I know something I have to work on!

Well, I’ve done a lot of typing. I should stop burdening you with my thoughts, but I hope you will be encouraged by my words.

Joy in the Journey!