Rest & Focus - Guest post by Josh Sczebel
I'm Pats oldest son Josh and my dad has been on my case for a little while now to write a blog post for him, so here goes. I am a band leader at Crossway and lead our church in musical worship nearly every other week. On Sundays when I'm not leading I'm usually playing bass and Wurlitzer in my dads band, which means no Sundays off for Josh. I love to worship Jesus through music so much, but sometimes I forget why I'm doing it.
Recently, my wife Kristina mentioned that it may be nice for me to take a bit of a break from leading and playing and always being up on stage to rest and refocus on Jesus. Initially I was not thrilled about this idea. I thought to myself, "This is my role! I'm good at this, what's Crossway going to do without me?". Which is where my problem started to show itself more clearly.
I think as worship leaders, musicians, and Christians, it's so easy to either cling onto areas in our life where we are serving and feeling particularly gifted OR we get tired and feel burned out, we feel like we're not being recognized for our excellent service. I think I've been on both of these tracks lately. It's kind of the Lord to show us stuff like this through simple questions. Generally its hard to see places where were going off course on our own. We need others. We need community.
As I began to think about all this it seemed clear to me that a break from public serving on sundays was a good step to take. I think it is biblical to step back at times and rest in the fact that Jesus is going to build his kingdom and love his church even if your not leading worship or playing guitar or teaching the kids. God doesn't need us, he uses us to display his glory through weak vessels... vessels who often need to rest and focus on what is important. Augustine opened up his Confessions with these words, "You have made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee."
So this season for me is not going to be a spiritual vacation but rather a season of spiritual education. My pride, my self-sufficiency, my lack of passion for Jesus need to be uprooted from my soul as I find my rest in Jesus. Not in pride, not in self-sufficiency, not in dis-interested obedience, but in Jesus.
When our hearts are finding their rest in Jesus, we can worship like the Psalmist who says "For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! " Psalm 84:10-12