Last Thursday when I came to band rehearsal, I discovered it was "oldies night." We did "What If His People Prayed" (Casting Crowns), "Salvation" (Charlie Hall), "Forever" (Chris Tomlin), "Break Our Hearts" (Passion), and "I Can Only Imagine" (MercyMe).
It made me chuckle privately, because most churches around here would consider those to be cutting-edge new songs. I don't think any of them is more than ten or fifteen years old. But WOW Church tends to keep things pretty fresh. In my more narcissistic moments (of which there are plenty, since I'm an artist and we tend toward that vein anyway) I like to think that Bill put the MercyMe song in simply because he now has a living, breathing piano player who can do it instead of using the Triton's sequencer to reproduce it.
Actually, in the little church next door here in North Ruralville, they still consider "Victory In Jesus" to be new music. It was, after all, published during the Great Depression and all, which is a switch from the Civil War-era hymns that populate much of the hymnal. I pray that God will enlighten all those who believe the hymnal to be canonical, but I fear most of them haven't listened to him in a long time anyway. I'm not saying that people who prefer traditional hymns aren't Christians -- no way! I'm specifically referring to the people who believe that the hymnal is as holy as the Bible itself and can't be added to or taken away from, and who believe it's the only legitimate source of church music.
Music aside, I think that I die just a little bit every Sunday that I have to be in that building next door. I hate attending a "church" that has absolutely no purpose... or at least appears to have lost its purpose somewhere back there. I don't have a single quarrel with any one of the seven people who still come week after week, except that they're just marking time. I have plenty of other ways to waste my time which are actually appealing.
Harsh? You bet. The truth hurts.
And until such time as God moves us to Ardmore to serve with the WOW Church folks, we're stuck.
Whenever I'm in Ardmore at WOW Church, I feel frustrated that I can't pitch in and do more because of our proximity problems, and I feel an overwhelming sense of belonging, of family, of like-mindedness. I am praying that's where God's taking us, because I can't bear too much more of this isolation and friendlessness. I'm accustomed to spending time working alongside the people in my church and being involved. This year has been tough on me, not having that outlet and that opportunity to sharpen myself with fellow believers.
Anyhow, we'll see what comes. Rick and I both have our resumes and applications in at an oil refinery there (yes, can you imagine me in steel-toed boots?) and I'm hoping at least one of us can get on at that plant, because the pay is excellent. I'm also sort-of hoping it's me, because I think that having Rick at Wal-Mart could prove a valuable thing -- their insurance is quite good, and the employee discount could sure save us some serious dough.
Teaching has it's pros and cons. The summers and Christmases, of course, being tops on the list. But the pay is just crap ... certainly not equating to the amount of time one must spend in college to earn the title of "Highly Qualified" under the No Child Left Behind boondoggle. They require more and more of teachers and give them less and less to work with. If teaching is where God wants me, then that's what I'll do. But I don't have to like it. I could probably land a job with one of the burgeoning suburb districts near Dallas, where the pay is much better, but we can't afford to live in any of those places and we can no longer afford to drive long distances to get there.
Oh well. Tomorrow morning it's back to Shakespeare for me. We've got to get these plays finished in short order because I want to fit in another novel before the end of school.