Confessions of a Worship Leader: Deep Sleep
I used to love her. She was a concoction of raw, hip, edgy, laid back, sweet, and seductive melodies all in one. She was a fascination; addictive. I drank of her day in and day out. I soaked up her words – lyrics – into my being as she lulled me into a deep and enduring sleep. She was a woman of many flavors – hip hop, R&B, rock, indie – you name it. She was popular music as we know it – and she created in me a perverted version of who God wanted me to be.
This was my ‘Then’. I gave the keys to my heart to a monster called ‘Music,’ and she opened the doors to a dangerous array of sorts: Beyonce – i.e Sasha, Shakira, Madonna, Weezy, R.Kelly – the list goes on. Each one claimed real estate in my mind, coloring my imaginations and desires with their lyrics. I said I listened only for the beat, and there was no harm done. But really, all they needed was the beat. The music would play — and I would sing and dance up a storm as it coaxed me into a world where God wasn’t.
Without my knowing it, I had become a student – an eager one at that. Countless days I spent with my headphones on, seeking the company of my teachers. Diddy taught me about money. He had said, “It’s all about the Benjamin’s, baby.” R.Kelly taught me about love. He had said, “I’m in love with a stripper.” Beyonce taught me about purity. She had said, “I’m feeling sexy. I want to hear you say my name, boy.” And the others chimed in with their ‘lessons’ on life – how to live, how to love, how to party. My ears constantly attuned to them, I became adept in their ideas. Sadly, I didn’t know I was seated in the wrong class.
I was set apart to be a worshipper. God had designed a melodic instrument – a voice – and he gave it to me as a mantle for war. In my youth, I had seen faint glimpses of it. But ignorance reigned. I didn’t know that for every gift God raised, the devil was prowling the earth for instruments of his own. And so, I heard the devil’s concoction of raw, hip, edgy, laid back, sweet, and seductive melodies all in one – and I ran after it without questioning it’s source.
I hadn’t heeded the proverb that says death and life are in the power of the tongue. I didn’t know that as I listened to ‘Music’ and repeated the words she gave me, I lived my life on her terms. ‘Music’ told me I was crazy in love; and so it was that I lacked discernment with the opposite sex. ‘Music’ told me that real life was in the club, and so it was that I devoted many nights to parties in the dark.
It was a fraudulent exchange. ‘Music’ gave me little white lies for cheap. But I gave her my voice – my gift – and she put it on mute. I played her concoction of raw, edgy, sweet, and seductive melodies all in one; and in a heartbeat, I was hers. I swayed, my body moving to the rhythm of her beat, blinded by the sweetness of it all. The sultry voices, the tempting beat, the suggestive lyrics – they all massaged my flesh. I let down my guard as ‘Music’ sunk deep into my heart. She brought death in, but I couldn’t tell. ‘Music’ colored death so pretty.
She consumed me with everything that God wasn’t. And so it was, that at the sight of the very thing that God made me for, I rebelled. I hated the church. I evaded it’s pulpit. I mocked it’s people…