Recently, I was watching my little sister sing in a choir she has recently been a part of which by the way was incredibly beautiful. Afterwards, I saw they had videos of the choir tour interviewing different people and showing the sights and different activities to and from programs. I kind of got caught watching them for a while. I was struck by how similar from what I could see in 10 minutes worth of video, it seemed to different tours I was on years ago.
By similar I mean there were the seemingly cool, beautiful, confident girls, who could do no wrong, they could do the craziest things and everyone thought they were funny. There were the grouchy people, the cool groups, the game people, the older ones who just seemed to enjoy talking and relaxing enjoying a little time away from their normal home schedules. There were the committed ones, the ones just having a good time, and the ones who genuinely enjoyed singing, and you could tell it. There were the kind ones who were a friend to everyone and the ones who looked a little insecure. There were the couples who obviously liked each other though they weren’t technically “dating”. There were the guys who were friends, the guys who were shy, and the guy you wanted to like you.
Choir tours seemed to bring the best and worst of people. Early mornings, late nights, and hours spent in close quarters on a moving vehicle you couldn’t hop off of either meant developing super close friendships, or worse enemies. Some of the best memories and friendships of my early adulthood was made on such tours. Youth group tours, Bible school tours, MDS tours…
It brought back a ton of memories. I always loved these tours, and yet in the beginning my experience was feeling very insecure and wondering if I could matter. I remembered how self-focused I was back then. How much I wanted everyone to like me, and how I was so sure that nobody really did.
There was a switch when I finally, due to God’s work in my life, realized that reaching out to make other’s happy, and hearing the heart and pain of another, and bringing glory to Him was what really mattered. Plus, people liked you best when you were confident in who you were in Jesus. When I saw someone hurting and could genuinely feel their pain by listening and loving, it was as though a whole new world opened up to me. The last choir tour I was on was wonderful mostly due to a different perspective, and yet even then….I wish I could go back and change some things.
I was imagining what it would be like to go on a choir tour now, as I am now. My life is so different than that young person years ago on the choir bus, just wanting to matter. Today I would love every moment, I think, and I wouldn’t really care if that guy liked me, because let’s face it the best guy out there is crazy about me. I wouldn’t care if I would fit in with the popular crowd. Plus I think, I would better see through their tough exteriors and into their hearts than I did back then…or I would want to. Life experience has developed in me a great love for people and a knowing, that people are people no matter how cool 😉 I would go for the joy of singing with a group (the thought of doing that alone seems like a little heaven on earth), blessing others, praising the Lord, getting to know people, and a break from the normal routine of life. Or at least that’s what I think I would do. Who knows what insecurities might sink in again? Still I think it would be different…
You ever wish you could put yourself back then and make decisions based on the person you are now? I do…Too bad there are not more choir tours as an adult, but then maybe it wouldn’t be as different as I’d like to think. Just the other day I said something stupid to a friend that I wish I could go back and change, and how many times do I have to apologize to my family for having a bad attitude. The fact is we are always messing up here on earth and wishing we could go back and change our attitudes our words, bus tours of yesterday….but we can’t.
So maybe the best lesson is choose today to be the person you wish you would have been yesterday. Even better realize that maybe entirely impossible and as Jesus to help you be the best person you can be today, and accept his grace and mercy for the choir tours of yesterdays.
photo by Justin Nice