“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” Romans 6:13
I’ve been a Christian for the majority of my life. I was raised in a Christian home, attended church, Sunday school, youth group, all the works. To be honest, by the time I got to college, my faith looked great from my perspective, to the point where it became really comfortable. Too comfortable.
It’s funny the things God uses to get our attention. Singing has long been a passion of mine. It doesn’t define me, but it is definitely a huge part of me. I carried this passion to Furman University where I pursued a degree in vocal performance. The fall semester of my junior year, I was accepted to a study abroad program in Arezzo, Italy to study singing.
Frankly, life is different over there. The biggest difference that stood out to me immediately was their use of time. They take their sweet precious time at meals and in everything they do for that matter. I went from a non-stop, can barely catch your breath busyness at Furman to adapting to a take-it-easy lifestyle. HA. Stopping and resting from the busyness that had become a comfortable norm back home led to a lot of thinking.
One day when I was practicing, I thought, why in the world am I doing this? Being a musician can be an extremely self-centered lifestyle. How did that note sound? Do they like my voice? Are they convinced by my acting? Do I look the part? Did I practice enough?
It’s not just musicians though; fill in the blank with your occupation and I imagine you could come up with similar questions. God made me realize something with that initial question. I surrendered my life to God when I was little, but I didn’t give Him every part of me. There were certain things that I still wanted to control so I gave him the overall concept of my life, but singing and what I want to do with my life? Well, no, I wanted to hold onto those.
I realized decisions in my life didn’t line up. Many times, I have to look at life in the extremes (or in a simplified version) to ground my thinking. So I asked myself, why am I here on earth? To help spread God’s kingdom. Does what I want to do with my singing align with that or am I doing it for selfish reasons? Easy. The Latter. Yikes.
It hurt to realize it and I was extremely humbled. But right then and there I did something I should’ve done a long time ago - I surrendered my voice to Christ. I decided to go all in and as a result, my pursuit of Him was transformed. Instead of asking myself, my parents, or my friends first about any facet of my life, I ask Him. Passionately pursuing God to me means choosing to be a follower instead of a fan. It hasn’t adjusted, but rather transformed my lifestyle, thought-processing, decision-making, and perspective. Now that I am a follower, I don’t know who I am without Him.