I sang “Walk with Me” for offertory at the evening session for camp meeting tonight. And when I say this, I say it in all humility: I was rock awesome. Seriously. I hit it out of the park. As I was singing and playing, I was totally enjoying myself and I knew I was doing my best ever. I could hear my voice surrounding me and the piano surrounding me and it was just perfect. And when I played the last chord and stood up to leave the stage, I seriously felt like I’d just hit a home run and was circling the bases on the way back to my seat. Nancy told me that it was especially good. She said that she always has high expectations when she knows I’m gonna be singing, because she knows I’ll do a good job, but even she could tell that this song was especially rock awesome.
The woman who asked me to do the offertory was expecting me to play cello. Ashley pointed out that the woman probably didn’t even know I could play piano and sing. The woman thought I only played cello. But I didn’t want to play cello. And this is a strange development. Used to be I would have preferred to be up front playing cello. Piano and singing would have made me too nervous. Cello was safer. But nowadays, cello feels boring, old hat, been there, done that. But piano and singing, now that’s risky.
All day I was jittery, antsy, couldn’t focus. Couldn’t start big projects, because I was too worried about my song that evening. So I’d do something, like fold some laundry, then I’d practice my song. Then I’d do something, like wash the dishes, then I’d practice my song again. Over and over, all day.
I was so antsy, I didn’t want to do the song at all. Nothing could be worth that restless feeling, I figured. And it hasn’t been just today, it was the last half a week I think. I envisioned calling up (or e-mailing) to cancel. Or coming down with a bad cold or something so I couldn’t follow through. Just envisioned these things. Didn’t really do them. That’s the difference between a responsible person and a not responsible one, I think. The responsible person only thinks of the ways to get out of things. The not responsible person actually does them. …Or maybe, more correctly, the not responsible person just forgets.
But the rush I got from playing that song tonight, wow, I can’t even describe it. Totally made all my antsy, restless dread worth it. Totally. I felt so full of life and joy and success. I want to have that feeling more often. It makes the antsy nervousness worth it. And I’ve realized that the antsy nervousness is so much better than the crippling nervousness I used to have to conquer. It’s so nice to be on this side of things. Before today, I didn’t really understand the difference. But it’s significant.
Quick, ask me to sing a song somewhere. But please let there be a nice Steinway grand to play, because I really think that the Steinway automatically ups the anty of the rush I’ll receive.