My family and I used to go to Lifest for the bands. Hours were spent circling artist names in the program and making a strategic plan of where we needed to be and when. Unfortunately for me, long gone are the years when I spent five days running from stage to stage, from mosh pit to lawn chair, from merch table to meet and greet line.
This past opening night of Lifest we got caught in the madness where the one-lane road through the park became a parking lot. The only show I wanted to see all evening was to start in four minutes. So still in the holding pattern at the park's entrance, I abandoned my family and our minivan. I began to walk with a purpose towards a party with a purpose. It took me fifteen minutes to walk from the park entrance to the fairgrounds entrance (in case you ever need to know).
Fifteen minutes is long time to repeatedly glance at your watch and realize you're missing the only show you wanted to see that day. It's also a long time to question if you're approaching with the right heart.
Even if I miss my show, will tonight still be worth it? Am I willing to hear from the Lord through a speaker I've never heard of, a band whose CD I have never purchased? Am I here for an artist, a speaker, or am I here for the Lord?
Valid questions to take my mind off of the ticking minutes.
A fifteen minute jog through the park, thirteen minutes in line to exchange my ticket for a wristband, and I finally made it to the Grandstand as Peder Eide was wrapping up "Yes, Lord" and beginning a new song, "We are Not Orphans." A new, new song. So new the CD it's on won't be released until July 15th. Peder has personally told me about this song twice, but I've been waiting a year to hear it.
A year. No embellishing.
I thought I was late. Twenty-three minutes late, to be exact. Twenty-three minutes late to a forty minute show.
I wasn't. I was right on time. Sure, I missed the first twenty-three minutes that I would have thoroughly enjoyed, but I was right on time to hear the song I had been anxiously awaiting.
It was a beautiful moment.
"I haven't forgotten. Welcome to Lifest. We've been waiting for you," the Lord whispered to me.
It might have taken twenty-three minutes of anxiety, but once again I could honestly proclaim, "God, I'm all in. I'm here for You. Not the artists, not the speakers, not the expo center, not the camaraderie. I'm here for YOU!"
What a wonderful feeling that is!
When's the last time you spent fifteen minutes running through a (figurative) park adjusting the focus of your heart? When's the last time you let your Abba Father sing over you and remind you of His goodness? He's waiting.
"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Zephaniah 3:17 NLT