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Thursday, June 22, 2017

But No One Clapped

I was five years old the first time I was asked to sing in public. My grandparents coordinated things with the pastor of their church and I sang a little acapella solo during their service. I didn't really know Christian songs then, so I sang the only song I was ever asked to sing during family functions - Edelweiss, from the movie, The Sound of Music. I got up there and sang it out the very best my little 5 year old self could sing it. I don't remember being very nervous because I was used to singing in front of my family. What I do remember is the sound of absolute silence when I was finished singing. You could probably hear the church mouse squeaking in those awkward few seconds that felt like centuries to me. I looked around at everyone in the church, not quite knowing what to do with myself. "Didn't they know this was their cue?" I thought to myself. "This was their time to show some encouragement. This was their time to clap!" But they didn't. Nope. Not one of them. I stepped off the platform and sunk down in the pew next to my mother. She patted me to say "good job" but all I could barely whisper to her was, "But no one clapped."

That moment could have ruined me forever. I could have very easily decided from that time forward that I would never sing again - all because no one clapped. (Even though, I had no idea, at the age of 5, that it wasn't customary to clap for anyone who sang in their church.) But, thankfully, I did not come to that resolution. Instead, I went on in the years to come to sing in musicals and competitive choirs in high school, had the opportunity to sing the theme song for a children's radio recording, went to college for a music education degree, and am now a private music teacher to other little budding singers and musicians! 

But how it could have ruined me... 

How many of us are ruined because no one 'clapped'? How many of us depend on the applause of men to determine if we will 'sing' or not? How many of us stop before we even get started simply because we don't have an audience clapping for us? 

Does a bird wake up in the morning and say, "I'm not going to sing today because no one complimented me on my singing yesterday. And if no one's going to notice me and give me some props, then forget it. I'm not singing!"? No! They sing because they want to, love to, and that is what their Creator has made them to do!

What is your song? Maybe you don't sing with your voice. Maybe your 'singing' is drawing, or writing, or acting, or carpentry, or public speaking, or gardening, or building, or computer programming, or sewing, or taking care of animals, or taking care of people... How has God made you to Sing? And are you Singing or are you holding back your Song because people aren't encouraging you enough? Remember, we don't Sing for people. We Sing for the Glory of God. We Sing because it not only gives us pleasure, it gives our Creator pleasure. So don't tell yourself and God that you won't Sing. If you do, you'll be robbing yourself of the enjoyment that God is giving you in life, holding out on letting Him receive Glory, and possibly sabotaging all the good things that can come out of it. 

So, whatever your Song is, Sing it! Draw it! Cook it! Create it! Build it! But whatever you do, take it from me - don't wait for an applause that may or may not happen.

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