Heeding the Instructions

A rather embarrassing thing happened to me last Sunday morning.  It was not the first time I was embarrassed in my role as the pianist for our church, nor do I think it will be the last; nevertheless, I hate being embarrassed.  It took hours for my complexion to return to its normal color instead of resembling a rather extreme sunburn.  Allow me to set the scene.

We had just finished our fellowship time where we all go around and shake hands while recorded music plays softly in the background.  I make a habit not to wander too far from the piano lest I find myself stuck in the aisle when it's time to move on to the next song.  Seeing the song leader returning to the platform, I weaved my way to the piano and looked around for the guitarists to give them the key for the next song.  They were both halfway down the side aisle, trapped by a flurry of people trying to greet one another before they ran out of time.

The song leader began announcing the song.  I made sure my music was in the right place, looked around once again for the guitarists, and upon spotting them approaching, mouthed the key of the song.   That done, the song leader gave me "the nod" to begin the introduction of the song.  The church sang through the first verse and chorus of my favorite hymn, "When We All Get to Heaven."  I looked up at the song leader who looked toward the congregation and opened his mouth.  I struck the opening notes for the second verse of the song, then froze.  No one was singing, but rather everyone had turned to stare at me.  In my embarrassment, I burst into laughter.  The preacher declared that we needed to go ahead and sing the last verse since I was so eager to play it.  They sang.  I played, but all the while, I would have loved nothing more than to have disappeared.  I can only imagine the different shades of red my face had become.

After church, I found out that the song leader had indeed said that we were only going to sing one verse of the song.  I had been so busy and distracted by trying to give the key to the guitarists that I hadn't heard that important bit of information.  When I saw the song leader look out at the people and open his mouth, I naturally assumed he was getting ready to sing.  He wasn't.  He was getting ready to call the ushers forward.  My bad!  I can tell you this, though. . .I listened VERY carefully to everything that was said the rest of the service.

The Bible is full of many wise and valuable instructions.  It informs us how to live, how to walk, how to fight the world and Satan, how to love, how to forgive, how to grow in Christ and so much more.  Every word has meaning.  Every sentence is part of a paragraph, every paragraph part of a story.  Every story part of the knowledge God wants us to have.  No word is insignificant.  Every part has meaning.  Failure to heed any instruction contained within, no matter how brief, can lead to embarrassment and much worse.

The Bible is God's holy Word.  It is a gift.  Are we heeding the instructions contained within, or are we, like I was Sunday morning, too distracted with other things (even good things)?  Take it from someone who knows. . . it pays to pay attention!