Last Sunday, the church band had some trouble getting the tempo of a song as fast as it needed to be. The worship leader (who is also the Associate Pastor) halted the music and talked to the drummer and guitar player. They tried it again, but soon it was obvious that the tempo was still off, so the music was halted. After another quick meeting, the music began again – this time at a pace that the singers could follow.
It was a bit humorous to watch the exchange because in the years I’ve attended this has never happened before. Of course there have been stumbles – forgotten words or wrong verses – before, but never a “do-over.” The worship leader’s comment after the song ended is what stayed in my mind. He said, “what’s a mistake among friends? If you’re going to make a mistake, it’s better to be in the presence of friends.”
How different the world would be if it was a friendlier place. We wouldn’t feel the compulsion to avoid mistakes, be driven to impress those around us, experience the frustration of back-tracking when we lose our way, harbor the worry that our errors will become jokes that are relived for others’ entertainment, or have concern that our failures make us failures.
Failures do define us, but not in a bad way. I learn much more by doing something incorrectly once than by doing it perfectly a dozen times. A life lived without failure is a fragile one. If we never experienced failure along the way, how could we possibly cope with it when it finally did happen? (Of course, failure is inevitable because we are all flawed humans.)
That morning in church, I learned through the worship band. I watched them acknowledge the error, rather than try to hide it. I saw them keep trying, right after the failed attempt, to reach the fast tempo – twice. I listened to them use humor to show that they don’t take themselves too seriously. I witnessed the clapping of hands and praises of “Amen” offered in support of the band.
It turns out that a mistake among friends is no big deal at all.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
P.S. – Happy Father’s Day to my hubby, my dad, and the other loving, hard-working fathers that serve as role models, guides and symbols of strength for their children. Sadly, there are fathers that are not so involved in their children’s lives. For them, I pray God will strengthen them and help them recognize that their absence leaves a void in their child’s life. No matter how old the child is, it’s never too late to bond.