Last Friday I started off the day complaining about how the day was going to be awful and wishing that I never woke up in the first place, even though the day hasn’t fully unfolded yet. I just knew my schedule for that day had groan-inducing, possibly-headed-for-failure activities that I didn’t want to participate in, thereby judging it’s level of crappiness before anything even happened yet. But guess what? I was completely WRONG.
So it all started a few days earlier, when I received a katalk (Kakao Talk) message saying that pretty much most of the worship team was not playing this Friday. Back in Abu Dhabi, worship leading with just me on the instrument department is good enough, but here in Korea, I’ve never played with just me on guitar before. I’m pretty new to most of their songs, their worship music style, and I ABSOLUTELY HATE the INSANE and UNREASONABLE chord changes. It’s very different from playing with my old band back then especially since the worship team for the Friday prayer service are all in their 40s (around middle age probably?) except for me. And ever since I joined the worship team, I always played with another guy on guitar so I can definitely cower behind him when I get confused–which I do so much more often in these old Korean hymns than with the familiar English worship songs I used to play. But this time, the other Guitar Uncle was out and it was just me and the Piano Uncle. So I got to thinking… WHY DID I MAKE A STUPID EXCUSE LAST FRIDAY? I excused myself out of the band the week before because I was just too lazy to learn the songs and my confidence has been lacking lately due to the fact that I find the songs more difficult than what I’m used to. But I didn’t want to be absent for two weeks straight because nobody needs to know that I hate my job as a musician sometimes. I mean I love being a musician and I wouldn’t trade it for anything since I personally asked God for this gift, but I don’t like taking gigs that I think are destined for failure–either because of me or because of some other person. Like the week before that, I just didn’t want to learn the songs and if I didn’t I know I’ll fail at playing anyway so I lied and told them that I had a headache just to get out of my responsibilities. I couldn’t possibly pull out the same excuse this time. And so since I do not have any more decent excuses, I just agreed to take this gig. Better do my best and still suck and be embarrassed on stage than be deemed that kid who doesn’t live up to her word. I actually really want to do my best for this band, not just because I want to play for God and He gave me this job that I promised Him I’d do, but because 진솔 언니 was the one who recommended me to the worship leaders. I never volunteered unlike what I did back in Wildfire. She was the one who got me into this, and I want to make her proud.
Then Friday came and it started off with an exam to ruin my mood even more. The moment I woke up, I kept saying “today is gonna suck” over and over in my head. Yes, the exam sucked, and I mostly flunk most of the upper level questions and even wrote a totally sarcastic essay that I’m not even required to write. Then after that, my class and teacher went to eat 찜닭, which was good, but it just makes me kind of sad that our class is still not close to each other even though the semester is almost over. Well then, free food is always good so it really doesn’t matter. When I got home, I had to practice the songs at home because we don’t really get any decent practice time except for that one hour before the actual worship. What’s worse is that I just received the songs a day earlier, so I don’t really enough time to fully familiarize myself with the songs. I had to practice well and so I did my best, even though I still feel uneasy.
And then the time has come. I came to church and it was just me and Piano Uncle. But instead of feeling nervous, his very kind and humble disposition calmed me down. He’s definitely a lot less intimidating that Guitar Uncle, so I felt less pressured. He was pretty awkward about leading worship as well because he used to be just on piano so I was very empathetic about the whole situation. Ironically, worship turned out to be so much better than I thought it would. And since I was alone on guitar I could hear myself properly, and I was definitely assured that I’m doing quite well and that I’ve still got it. I’m still a good musician. Lately I’ve been too hard on myself for the times I get confused and get chords wrong. I’ve been telling myself that I’m just not good enough when I actually am still pretty good. And that day, I did the same thing. I didn’t want to play because I thought that I couldn’t do it and that I would just embarrass myself. I’ve been playing guitar for six years for goodness sake! And to top that off, I’ve been playing worship in church with a close-nit band for four years and have played in front of hundreds about ten times! I’ve also mentored a few band mates and helped arrange songs and prepare set lists and fix chord sheets! I’ve been trusted by my previous band members to read the leader’s cues and deliver the strong build-ups and emotional calm-downs! I belong to this job. This was my calling. I was trained for this. There is no other reason for me to keep my guitar other than this.
That’s when I realized: God doesn’t want me to quit this job. No matter how useless and awkward I feel playing with a bunch of old people and playing songs that I don’t even fully understand, He gave me this job because He wants me here and He thinks I belong here. I’m a lot like Jonah. God had a job for him that he didn’t want to do, and yet he had to do it. I tried running away by thinking of excuses and lying as well. If I didn’t play guitar this time, Piano Uncle would be all alone and a lot more awkward. In the end, I was very glad I came.
As an added bonus, I ended up eating chicken with 진솔 언니 and her friend at her house after the prayer service. If I didn’t attend the prayer service, I wouldn’t even get to eat with her either. And so the day ended with me feeling very happy after spending time with her. What I thought was an awful day, was ironically a great day after all.