Psalm 139:23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
I gave up being an artist for Lent. Unintentionally, really. And it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever given up.
Months ago I agreed to speak on behalf of Compassion International on The Rock & Worship Roadshow tour, which started on the first day of Lent and will extend to Holy Week. There was a small chance I’d get to sing a song or two; no promise. But still – a chance.
But tonight I’m on a bus in Carbondale, Illinois and my guitar is back home in a closet. I lug a camera around now. I’m speaking and doing the social media marketing of the tour – taking and editing and posting lots of pictures of other people being artists. And I’ve made lots of new friends, and I’ve discovered new music I love, and so many children are being sponsored every night, but at the end of the day when I’m tired and weakest sometimes I lay in my bunk and secretly think…
Who am I with no song to sing?
Isn’t it true that we tend toward believing…We’re intelligent because someone gave us good grades. We’ve been useful because someone said thanks. We’re worth something because someone paid us. We’re important because someone put our name on the ticket. We’re a success because…
Giving up music has been embarrassing – I’m downright shocked at the insecurity I’ve discovered inside myself. I thought I was farther along than this, that my identity wasn’t wrapped up in what I do or what you think. But it is.
What I really gave up for Lent then was an illusion, a lie I believed about myself. I’ve discovered the real me – an area of my life that is still so far from conformity to the image of Christ.
When we give up we get the truth.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:1-3, 23-24)