For many years I played Sunday mornings in church. As busy as I am most of the time, I still managed to get up early on Sunday mornings (after a late night gig) and drag myself into church to play for the Lord. I was a fixture at this one church in North Philadelphia for well over 8 years. Through that time the church experienced a lot of changes, Many musical directors came and left. Many choir members did the same. In the beginning, it felt “a lot like church to me.” During the later years it just “stopped feeling real to me.” Many times I often wondered if it was just me. Maybe my mind wasn’t in the right spirit of things. Musically I always played any song asked of me. I never had a problem with that. However, what I was feeling had nothing to do with performance. When I started out at this church years ago the membership was “always full to capacity.” However, in the past couple of years they were lucky to have about 40 to 50 percent (based only on my own estimation). The music ministry team was a great playing team. We would do new tunes all the time and play them well. However, many times when dealing with the spirit of the leadership I would often feel “deception.” I was often told things that I knew in my heart were just not true. I realize that in life there are many people who will do that, and if they can get away with it once they will only continue to do so. Most times I just ignored it and showed up to play. However, towards the end I knew that it was time for a change. It is a sad turn of events when you show up to a church and actually “dread” entering through the doors, but that was what I was feeling. A lot of my friends there had already left, and the services just felt like a void to me. Finally, this situation came to a head, and the church and I parted ways permanently. I felt sad about the friends that I had there. The people were great, but if a church no longer feels right then whose responsibility was that: Mine of theirs? So for about a month I just rested on Sundays and didn’t attend any place. I needed a break. Well, i got a call from someone who used to be my musical director. He was now director at another church and he asked me if I would be a part of his ministry. Of course I accepted and yesterday was my first official day playing for them. I no longer had that “dreaded feel” when walking through the doors. The people were great, The word was great. The atmosphere felt “real again.” Oh, and the music was awesome. Today’s Daily Thought is not about bashing my old church. Naturally, what you get out of your church depends largely on what you put into it. I made a lot of sacrifices for my old church, but the leadership there didn’t seem to value any of that. As much as we hate to go through change, many times it is necessary for us grow. Yesterday I felt like I “grew.” Time will tell if this feeling is genuine or not, but the inspiration I felt was remarkably different from what I previously felt. You may be experiencing something similar in your life right now. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with your religion, but “something” you are going through might need “change.” I can only tell you that the only way to know “for sure” that the grass is greener on the other side is to just “venture over there” and see for yourself. Uncertainty can often lead to stagnation. Sometimes we all need to take a blind “walk of faith.” For now I don’t regret my decision at all. Hopefully you will have just as great an experience should you decide to take it. “Change can work, but only if you allow it to.” Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always i wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Baby Washington, Mabel Johns and Maxine Brown doing the Gospel with Brett Jolly