Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Drumming and preaching

The work on recovering and improving my drumming skills continues. I must say, it's about the funnest "work" I've done in recent memory.

It is work, though. In that I practice until I'm sweaty and sore, and my arms ache for days.

Last Sunday I had another opportunity to lend my skills. It's nice that we have two services, if only from the perspective that I get two whacks at it. Our music leader isn't big on rehearsing, since he's very skilled, and everyone — except me! — is pretty familiar with most of the songs we do. So we rehearsed two, and didn't rehearse the other two; plus, William picks the "song of response" as he listens to the sermon. So that one's always a surprise.

I told William that if I messed up on the two unrehearsed ones, it'd be on him. He laughed. (He's been very gracious and encouraging, which I appreciate a lot.)

Of course, I'd rehearsed them myself. When I got the list, I took my boys down to the church and worked on the music, running the songs in my head. I didn't really love what I had, so I went down again Saturday and worked until I was more comfortable.

All that to say that the second service on Sunday left me feeling best I've ever felt about what I contributed to the songs. It was fun, ideas came to me which (I felt) enhanced the phrasing and content of the music... and I only dropped a stick once! (First time. No casualties.)

But this left me thinking very tangentially.

My wife and I have chuckled over a preaching phenomenon. It has often seemed that, when I feel worst about a sermon, that is the sermon God seems most to use. There are exceptions, of course. But I'll come off feeling I've bobbled something, not handled it well, not expressed or communicated as I should — and that's the one that most seems to move folks' hearts.

The converse is sometimes true as well. I'll feel as good as I ever feel about a sermon, and it may not register much effect.

So last Sunday had me wondering, on a much more trivial scale — does it work that way with drumming? I felt really good about second service: does that mean I drummed really badly?

I think about these things.


Surly Mosey said...

Maybe those are the sermons that I didn't have as much to do with? Just a thought. His ways are mysterious and wonderful indeed...

In my experience the drumming usually works conversely to that. When those times come where everything just flows in one smooth river of rhythm and your sticks feel like they can do no wrong, it's felt by everyone else as well. Until you get a little crazy on the hi-hat and whack yourself in the noggin.. that's when you feel it most ;)

DJP said...

Yes, I think it may have been the hi-hats that threw my stick back at me!

mikepettengill said...

I feel the same about my rare opportunity at the pulpit or my not-so-rare opportunity leading a study.

As a guy who has loved hearing your sermons and drumming…keep pounding away at both.

Solameanie said...

Via email, I just sent you a photo you might enjoy.

If you get too tired, I guess you could just turn on a Linn drum machine or something. (Ducks thrown crash cymbal)