Friday, February 10, 2006

When your chair cushion is worn out!!!

So here are my thoughts on all that we have been collectively enjoying this week. I believe that we in the second chair community have been hit pretty hard this week, and Sunday isn't even here yet! How about you?

So, what can we do when the chair cushion is worn out? How do we get it fluffy and comfortable again? Is that the right question to ask anyway.

I know this much. We can run to our Father for He knows what we need before we even ask of Him (Mt. 6:8). That is what I am going to do. May God bless you today as you lead from the second chair.

9 comments:

Clayton Bell said...

A vibrant, personal, growing, interactive relationship with the God of the universe, the love of a good woman (or man, preferrably a spouse either one!), and a day off always help me.

Other than that, talking though things with you all certainly helps. Perspective, perspective, perspective...

DivaD said...

What can we do? Talking things through with you all most certainly does help... although I'm not sure if it's a disturbing or comforting revelation that some of these really tough issues are common. :o) I appreciate having people who are not directly connected to my situations to help try and bring a balanced perspective to things. And, I hope for opportunities to do the same.

Outside of that, I thank God that I have a husband who not only has always fully supported me with regards to leadership, but is willing to listen, and at just the right times to say "enough"!

And, finally, I am a worshipper... for me, running to the Father looks like swinging on a swing and just talking to Him (or riding a motorcyle or 4-wheeler and doing the same), or putting on head phones with a worship CD and resting in His presence, or (other side of the coin) cranking a worship CD and allowing the meaning of the words to wash over me - blocking out the attacks and words of the enemy - and celebrating Him with absolute abandon.

I'm finding these days that withdrawing and resting feed my spirit (or cushion my chair) more than anything else right now. My first chair gave me a glass jar filled with sand, shells, seaweed, and pebbles. He wrote a note of encouragement reminding me to stop and allow things to settle around me so that I could see clearly the things that God has put in my life. A gentle reminder...
"Be STILL and know that I am God".

Marie said...

Well....I don't know. Having kind of gone thru yet another round today I was sitting here in my chair wondering...is it supposed to hurt every day?

I'm a little discouraged right now - but it will get better. Nice to find you guys all here! Looking like Sunday here is shaping up to be a really powerful day.

DivaD said...

Marie - I'm with you. Today was another day 'from the bad place' as we like to say. My boss and I looked at each other today and said "I am NOT your enemy". How true. We aren't one another's enemies. But man - it sure can seem like it sometime.

I really don't believe that it's supposed to hurt every day. However, given the similarity of the struggles, and that we've all been hit pretty hard this week, I'd say our real enemy doesn't like the fact that we've all found one another... other believers who we can be authentic and real with (he hates that)... and who will walk with us through tough times, bearing and sharing one another's burdens - speaking truth to one another - praying for one another.

Where 2 or 3 are gathered in HIS name, He is in the midst.

I'd say this community of believers - of 2nd chair leaders - has great potential to do great destruction to the kingdom of darkness and we've got a real enemy who is fighting with everything in him to keep us from being the powerful support systems, and yes - the leaders, that God has called us each to be.

We're in this thing together... and although it is quite the frustrating, painful - even agonizing, journey at times, there has GOT to be a breakthrough coming.

When you've done all to stand... stand therefore! Hang in there!

Jay said...

Hey Second Chairs...

It does seem like a cycle we are all going through. My wife likens it sometimes to an abusive relationship where there are highs and lows, agruements and apoligies, flowers and gifts and intense frustration. Sometime it feels like that...She's a social worker so she analizes it like that. Does if feel that way to you?

My chair sometimes feels like a whoopie cushion...the minute it gets filled with air and looks comfortable and I sit in it...the air comes flying out and I feel deflated along with the cushion.

Roger suggested that maybe we aren't supposed to be asking how to make our chair comfortable and fluffy. Maybe our chairs aren't supposed to be comfortable. Maybe God has placed each of us in positions to serve first chair leaders and other second chairs and third chairs etc and maybe its supposed to be uncomfortable. Maybe its takes a special, committed, servant, who is willing to make sacrifices with their own comfort to advance the kingdom of God. I'm not saying that it should hurt everyday, but maybe this is a process we are going through designed by God to make us into the leaders he wants us to be. Just a thought.

How long have you all been in your current positions? I've been in mine for just over two years. Right now its the hardest it has ever been, but these conversations have been a huge encouragement to me! Tomorrow is Sunday...so go serve with all you've got..Remember that through all these trials, God will give you glimpses of what he's doing behind the scenes. I've been praying with a lady and her kids for about 6 months or more for her husband who is addicted to alcohol and facing jail time. She's been struggling about leaving him or staying with him. This past SUNDAY she came running up to me on and said, "JAY, my husband came to church with me today. I didn't even ask him." She was so excited. I stood in the back of our auditorium and watched him raise his hand for salvation at the end of our first service, then watched him go directly into our new converts class in the second service...It was great to see God work in the life of that family and makes some of the hardships worthwhile!

DivaD said...

Jay -
You ask how long we've been doing this thing...I don't have time to explain the details of how long I've been serving in a 2nd chair position. Suffice it to say that I've been 'doing the job' for almost 5 years now but staff/elders just chose to make it "official" by making it a paid position January 1 to 'avoid confusion within the church'. It's the title thing that's now causing great difficulties... Believe me - it's NOT the salary :o)

Anyway - I reflect back on the past 5 1/2 years that I've been at the church... the life changes that I've seen take place... the REAL friendships that have developed... the people who have recognized that they DO have potential to do something significant and have become hopefully excited about it... the celebrations to honor volunteers... the families that have been ministered to... the people that have been helped through grief... the lives that have been touched through music/drama/dance/messages...

wow...

I'm sure we all can sit and ponder on the victories and our hearts will swell with that sense of purpose, fulfillment, joy, and awe at the privilege that we have to serve in this capacity.

At the risk of being very redundant...
Be STILL and know that He is God... and that we are privileged to serve as 2nd chair leaders in THE place that offers THE hope of the world. How incredible is that!

Marie said...

Hi all - Sunday night - and I have a few moments to reflect on all your comments and on the day in general. We celebrate two worship gatherings in our church every Sunday and I serve on the worship team...the "leader" as far as organization and structure goes, but not the lead musician. (Not even 2nd, 3rd or 4th chair there!! :) but thank goodness we are blessed with wonderful musicians!). Anyway - we had some wonderful worship time and I know how much I needed it. We sang an original composition by one of our members to psalm 62 and as I sang "I will not be broken" I felt my heart just soar up to the Lord. He is my rock, my inspiration, my foundation, my salvation. All the problems of the week seemed to melt away and I just drew in close to God. As we finished the song at the second service I opened my eyes and was almost startled to find all those people out there!! I know I'm not supposed to forget the congregation but sometimes I do slip into that "place".

Anyway - it helped to restore my equilibrium and give me a sense of peace. I love what you pointed out divad about the fact that the enemy will not be happy that this blog is becoming active. There is nothing he would like better than for all of us to feel isolated and unsure. And I think perhaps Roger and Jay are correct to wonder if our chair is supposed to be all that comfortable. I personally can state very honestly that I have no aspirations at becoming a first chair - and I really have no interest in doing what I am doing anywhere else. (and BTW - my "job" has just sort of evolved over the past 4 years or so...just very gradually..it continues to be difficult to define and sometimes seems to shift like sands in the desert). I don't see this job as a stepping stone to anywhere else - there is far too much to do here! Why me...here...doing this? Well...the end of the story has not been written yet. I am sure my chair will continue to be uncomfortable at times...and maybe it won't even be "my" chair for very long but for the moment, it is where I am supposed to be.

Praying for all of you -

DivaD said...

It snowed here on the east coast Saturday and Sunday. We had to cancel our Sunday service.

I spent 2 days sleeping late, resting, reading, watching movies with my daughters, and doing absolutely positively nothing that most would deem worthwhile.
It was wonderful!

Although I envy those who were able to attend church (I love what we do on Sundays), the snow-forced 'time off' was much needed. Thought time was abundant...

Mike Bonem said...

Sure, the second chair (at my church) can be a pretty uncomfortable seat at times. There are days when I wake up, and almost immediately I can feel the beginning of an adrenaline surge because I have so much to do or because I know that a difficult conversation awaits me. On those days especially, I try to spend time with the Lord, letting Him reassure me that He is not going to give me more than I can bear, and that He will be with me through whatever storms I encounter.

I also try to remember that this is not the only chair that I sit in. I try to be intentional about finding outlets and spending time away from the church. (Just the other night, when there was so much conversation on this blog, I had come home exhausted and decided that I was not going to even turn my computer on.) Of course, being a husband and father is at the top of the list of other “chairs,” and for me that’s usually very rewarding and refreshing. (Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful wife and for the joys that each of my children bring!) And while there is not a lot of extra time in the week for personal pursuits, I find that running, playing a weekly game of basketball, reading (for pleaure, not for work), and coaching whatever sport is in season are all great breaks from a demanding chair.

A couple of years ago, I was visiting with another second chair leader, and asked how I could pray for him. His answer was immediate: “Balance. In the hectic pace of this place, I need to be sure that I find and maintain balance in my life.” That’s been a helpful reminder for me, and has helped me to step away and keep things in perspective.

At the end of the day, Psalm 62 (which Marie mentioned) speaks to my heart. Verse 5 simply says, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; My hope comes from Him.”