Everything had been going so well. The kinks we had encountered so far had been worked out quickly, and efficiently. We were set up. The tuck shop was being sorted out. The support band were ready. The stage set up. And we still had hours to go. The band, A Kiss Goodbye, had arrived in England the day before, and as far as I knew were on route from London so I went home to wait.
A Kiss Goodbye had contacted me a few months earlier and offered to come a play a gig in Scarborough just before they played Spring Harvest – a major Christian festival in the UK. It was an offer to good to refuse, but I was nervous. I’d never organised an event with such a well known group and I was worried that we wouldn’t get enough people or sell enough tickets to make enough money to pay the band. But as the gig fell into my hands and I didn’t have to chase it, I decided to go for it.
The arrangement was for the band to arrive between 1400-1500 on the day of the gig. It was 1600pm and my phone started to ring. They were in Loughborough. At least two and a half hours away. With a blow out. And no spare tyre. Waiting for the AA, who were due at 1630. Assuming the AA man was on time and could fix the tyre in less than a minute the band would still arrive at 1900. Half an hour before the gig was due to start. That’s fine! They’d still have half an hour to sound check.
2050pm. The support group have played a double set. I’m in the middle of a short evangelistic message when I see the crowds eyes move from me to the stage. I sense frantic activity behind me and finish up. And then at 2100, 15 minutes before the gig should end, the main act start their set. After a 12 hour journey where they have witnessed multiple accidents, phoned me so much that their batteries have died, got lost in Scarborough when they were only five minutes away from the church.
The gig went amazingly well, but I, two days later, am still incredibly stressed about it. We have had a hugely busy month and in the middle of it found out that our second attempt at IVF had failed, I was worn out physically and emotionally. The worse thing was that I could do nothing to get the band there any quicker, I could change nothing about the situation. As I hovered between the church and the car park trying to ring the band every 15 minutes for an update on the journey the impact of the last month finally hit me, and in the arms of my surprised wife, I cracked. It was only a moment, but I was totally overwhelmed. I knew the gig was too big for me, I knew I couldn’t pull it off, I asked God why this would happen? And if all that wasn’t bad enough I wondered why we had yet again been unsuccessful in having a baby.
Two days later my early reflections are about trust and pride. The gig was never about me. It was a gift for the young Christians of Scarborough. And they loved it. They didn’t care that the band was late, they still rocked out, they still had a great time. But I wanted it to go as I had planned. Because that is how success looks – how I plan.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 – ‘“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.My thoughts are higher etc..