I’ve tried living a good, clean life. No real drinking, no smoking, no drugs, just a love of food. Kind of like my dad in that respect. I’ve tried to help those I could sometimes and sometimes shamefully, not for the right reasons. I’m sinful and weak, after all I’m human. But I’ve always liked stories and yes the stories in the Bible are included in that statement. To make a difference in one person’s life, is a goal I’ve always had. And now I realize that can be done from a distance and not necessarily in person.
Brought up in the Catholic faith, as well as going to a parochial high school and college, I got fed up with the whole Catholic ball of wax, after I got married. I think that has happened to a lot of people, for various reasons, of my generation. Those reasons, I believe, usually have to do much more with the nature of man than with the nature of God.
Forty years later, I met Pastor Tom at a chamber after hours, business event, and he seemed like a real down to earth type of guy and his business card had an interesting address that peaked my interest. 5 Industrial Drive. That following Sunday I had to go and see what an “industrial” church looked like. I’ve been back almost every weekend since then.
Unlike the services at the Catholic churches which I was familiar with, where the only thing that seemed to change was the color of the priest’s robes, his church really hit home with me and I was curious as to what the next weeks’ service would be like. Singing, music, slide shows, a message, stage décor, communion, offerings, all things the Catholic church had and a lot more, but done in a fresh and exciting way, that was completely new to me and as I found out later, new every week, at this Christian church.
Small and personal, I feel at home here. I know there is a lot of effort during the week that goes into the following Sunday’s worship service. But I see a lot of passion in this place. There is a drummer that plays occasionally who I think is part of the student ministry. Someday I want to just walk up to him and let him know how much I enjoy his enthusiastic playing as he lets his passion take control of the drum sticks. I don’t feel I am a very passionate person, but I love to see people who are, as it inspires me and reminds me that I can always do better.
So for over two and a half years I’ve had a routine and this past couple of months due to personal reasons I thought I’d mix things up a bit. I have a bad habit of letting a routine take me over. You see, I drive 40 miles round trip to go to this “Industrial “ church which is actually an offshoot of a much larger church located in the same city I live in. I could actually walk to it, if I needed to. I thought I’d go to the 1st service of the closer to home, larger church and check it out and then I could go to a later service of my regular church. So I did.
First thoughts: larger, similar, interesting, different. It was alright, and then I saw this girl playing various percussion instruments in the corner next to where their drummer played, who was behind what I believe to be a plexiglas wall. I could not get over her energy, her constant moving and jumping, smiling, and all over motion. I thought to myself, does she have ants in the pants or what? It was very clear she enjoyed what she was doing and seemed like she could do it for hours and hours as the rest of the musical group pretty much just played their parts.
During the week, I thought about what I witnessed and wondered if she’d be there again, so I went back the next week as well and though some of the people in the group were different, she was in her corner and just as driven and motivated as the week before. Now I’m thinking the plexiglas wall was there to protect the drummer from her. How does one get to be that passionate, I asked myself? I mean if there was a contest named, “Jumping for Jesus”, she would be the clear winner. Who is this girl and what is her story, I thought? Is this real or a put on? And again to my, what should no longer be, amazement, God revealed to me, answers to these somewhat rhetorical questions, I had asked myself when I went back this past weekend.
This time I decided to sit closer to the front, dead center aisle, about the 4th row back from the stage, on an aisle seat. The previous weeks I was 10-12 rows back. Unfortunately, it looked like she was not playing in the group this weekend. This happens at my church as well, as they do a great job of mixing the participants up so it’s always fresh and burnout rates are low. Oh well, doo-doo happens.
The service starts and the band is playing , singing, and the words are on the big screen to each side of the stage. I look over to my right to read the words and I’m distracted by the movement of one of the worshipers. I take a closer look and I asked myself “is that her?” I thought it certainly looks like her and is moving like her. She was in the same row as I was, but one aisle over with her husband (there was a ring on her finger, which I noticed the 1st week I had seen her) or boyfriend.
To further solidify my belief that this was her, this week was the first sermon in new series called the Secret, and this 1st part was titled “God’s heart”. During his sermon, the pastor happened to make reference to the “tambourine lady” and how everyone knows and loves the “tambourine lady” and how she plays to “God’s heart”. Rachel it turns out, is the “tambourine lady’s” name, AKA to me as “Ants in the pants”. So it wasn’t just me that noticed her uncurbed enthusiasm. It is definitely real and genuine. Everyone sees it.
God answered my questions, even though they were not really all that important in the grand scope of things. Her enthusiasm is genuine and real. If at all possible I’d love to get an empty bottle to her and have her bottle some of it for me. If just one tenth the world’s population had her passion for GOD and God’s love for us, it would be such a different place to live in.
I think I’ll be going to both church services for a little while longer. I want to see if some of her passion can rub off onto me.