from the pen of Jeff Joyner
Several years ago, I was in a band with CRU, a Christian organization based in California. For over 4 years, I spent most of my time on the road doing concerts, both in the US and overseas. One day, we got news from the national office, that they wanted us to record an album, to make available at our concerts. We were only going to have a limited amount of time to make the record, since we were scheduled to do an overseas tour within weeks.
After several days of preparation, the recording sessions began at a studio in Southern California. We all were feeling major pressure to get the record done quickly, so we could take it with us on tour. Our producer was in a “One Hit Wonder” band in the early 1960’s called The Dartells, so he had a lot of experience working with stressed out musicians. Though the first day was a bit shaky, we finally settled into a groove, and seemed to be on track to finish the project by the end of the week.
A song we still needed to record, was one that I had written, and sang the solo on. As the band prepared to lay down the tracks, I began feeling tinges of performance anxiety. Our producer called me in, and asked if I could sing a practice solo with the band, so they could have some vocals in their headset. Since it would be a practice track for me, he set me up in a hallway with a microphone, and told me to sing the song exactly like I did in concert. As the band played in another room, I sang my heart out in the hallway, feeling absolutely no pressure to perform.
After we were done with the song, our producer called me into the listening room. He had secretly recorded my solo, and wanted me to hear it. When it was done playing, he looked over at me and said, “that’s a take.” He knew that without the pressure to perform, he would be able to get the very best out of me. Though I tried a couple more times to improve what I did in the hallway, I was unable to.
I learned a lot from my hallway experience that day. I saw first hand the futility of trusting in myself, and my own efforts to accomplish what only God can do. Though it’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again, I’ve seen that the more I allow Christ to live His life in and through me, the more I will experience His deep, abiding peace, in the midst of this chaotic and turbulent world.
“Cease striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 47:10