Like you, I love to hear when someone feels I did a good job.
I don't need to hear a verbal response. Seeing my children's faces on Christmas morning, receiving a pat on the back from co-worker, earning a bonus in my pay check, or the sweet bubbly feeling God puts in our hearts is plenty for me.
In the middle of the job or in preparation of the work, though, I frequently feel nervous.
Nervousness is a response to caring if others appreciate the work done for them.
Nervousness is also a response to knowing we were not fully prepared. A tinge of guilt goes along with this form of nervousness.
Recently, I heard a judge tell a performer: "Suppressing the nerves and hiding that [suppression] is important 'cause we are all nervous all the time. You know. It's like part of the job. But to, kind of never, make anyone believe that you are [nervous] is a huge part of performance. Try to make the 25% that was shaky part of the other 75%, which was really, really awesome."
My nerves increase in their ballistic behavior against me the closer time reaches its long and short hands to the deadline. One day, God, in His loving way, gave me the best counsel. "Mary, you can be nervous, if you really need to be, all the way up to seconds before the deadline. At that time you must surrender the situation completely to me and know that I am the one for whom you did the work--And I am well pleased."
Here are two of thousands of stories I could share:
1. My mother-in-law came for a visit. As she walked in the door, I took her coat and noticed the dust on the piano. I took a breath and walked past as though nothing was wrong. We had a wonderful visit, laughing, sipping tea, and enjoying the dessert. I never did find out if she saw the dust.
2. I had practiced for the music special for church many times. Replaying runs on my flute, checking the phrasing, highlighting measures in my music I'd made mistakes in practice to prevent from doing them in performance.
To teach my young students that God is a part of our performance, I had made it a policy to always pray with any other player involved in the performance before the service started. My prayer usually went something like, "...and if I make a mistake, please let the congregation only hear the sweet sound intended so they can worship You, Lord, instead of feeling bad about the mistake." I stepped on the platform and raised my flute to play. Ignoring nervousness creeping into my fingers, I smiled and thought of the words to the song. The notes flowed from my instrument as though an angel had taken over. Sure enough, like clockwork, I made a mistake at one point. I kept the same look on my face as I had for the good notes, knowing God had the situation covered and the congregation was able to worship Him.
A few weeks ago, Kay, one of the readers of this blog, mentioned how she prayed for her neighbor and has used moments like the tree falling and missing both of their houses to witness to her neighbor. Maybe Kay felt nervous and for a short second doubted if she could talk with the neighbor. Thankfully, she chose to spend time with the woman God has placed in her life.
Is there a time God has helped you keep your nerves under control
through a performance of any type?
This post have been brought to you by the one word: GoodServant