I have been thinking a lot about what I do as a local church worship leader. What I do well, what I don't do well, how I can improve in areas of leadership, musicianship, creativity and spirituality. Every so often I hit one of the stretches where I analyze who I am and what I am doing.
I have been thinking about taking vocal lessons (I think I have developed some bad vocal habits), guitar lessons, and writing songs more. I get myself all worked up about how I should be better.
Then, today I was reading about the story in Genesis 24 where Abraham sends a servant to find a wife for his son, Isaac.
A.W. Tozer makes an interesting observation:
"The adornment of her (Rebekah's) beauty consisted of the jewels and the raiment that came as gifts of love from the bridegroom whom she had not yet seen...It is a reminder of what God is doing in our midst right now...He gives us one by one the beauties, the gifts, the graces of the Holy Spirit...Thus, we are being prepared, and when we meet Jesus Christ as our coming Lord and King, our adornment will be our God-given graces and gifts." - from Whatever Happened to Worship
My life is a preparation for spending eternity with Jesus, the Lord of all beauty. The only things that prepare me for that are the gifts and graces He gives me. Therefore, I should spend my life receiving and walking in them, not trying to become beautiful of my own accord.
I am not saying we should not practice our crafts or try to improve our abilities as leaders - but, the key is keeping our efforts focused on the gifts and graces that Holy Spirit has given us, not the ones we think will make us better.