A few nights ago our 15 month old daughter, Megan, started walking on her own. She had taken one or two independent steps before, but finally, one evening after dinner, she decided she was quite comfortable walking around our entire living room.
We were amazed. We applauded her, swooped her up and hugged her, took pictures and video, Skyped with her grandparents in California so they could see it, and delayed her bed time by quite a bit just so we could keep watching her walk.
Several days have passed and she’s still walking – but I’m not amazed anymore.
What would have been unheard of just a week ago – Megan walking around the living room – is now normal to me. I check email and read the news while she toddles around without any applause or swooping or filming or Skyping.
It’s easy for us to lose our amazement, isn’t it?
When I first came to my church 6 1/2 years ago, they were still relatively new to the use of contemporary music in congregational worship. I was young and immature, but eager and excited, and was quickly overwhelmed by how far the congregation had to go (and, whether I realized it or not, how far I had to go too).
Over the course of time, God, by his grace, has moved us ahead. Is there still room for growth? Oh yes. Have we made any progress? You would be amazed.
But I’m not amazed anymore. And I should be.
What would have been unheard of just 6 1/2 years ago is now normal to me. I would have never been able to introduce an upbeat celebratory song. The band couldn’t have played it and the congregation would have been shocked. I certainly wouldn’t have heard any clapping or seen any physical expressiveness. Our repertoire was shallow. Our equipment was terrible. Our rehearsals were ineffective. These are just a few examples off the top of my head. I could probably think of hundreds more.
God has faithfully helped us grow. He has answered prayer after prayer and allowed us to express our worship to him and encounter him in a level of freedom that we weren’t experiencing just a short time ago. He has done it. And I should be amazed.
The people of God have a long and sad history of forgetting his “wondrous works” (Psalm 105:5) and selfishly demanding more without remembering what he’s already done. We’re all guilty of this. But oh how much more satisfied and joyful we’d be if we opened our eyes to the miracles he’s done right in front of us.
What “wondrous works” has God done in your midst, in your congregation, in your own life and ministry, and in your worship team? More than you remember and probably more than you realize. What “unheard of” things are now normal?
There will always be room to grow. But there will always be a reason to be amazed.
I want to be a father – and a worship leader – who never ceases to be amazed by baby steps. How about you?