As a pastor, my Saturday evenings are generally a time of quiet preparation. But recently, I set my overly cautious, well-planned nature aside and seized an evening of adventure.
My ideal Saturday night goes a little something like this. I like to be home from all responsibilities and activities by 6 p.m. Then, right after I get in the door, I like to put on my red fleece pajamas covered with kittens. The rest of my preferred Saturday evening involves watching Lawrence Welk, sipping tea and preparing for Sunday's worship services.
I'm well aware that this makes me sound like someone a few generations my senior, but I genuinely enjoy my routine. As a rule, I love to be asleep by 10 p.m. on Saturday. But every now and then, there's reason to make an exception.
Last November, I found out my favorite band, Local Natives, was making a stop in Minneapolis in the spring. I couldn't resist buying tickets to the show. As I prepared to click the "purchase" button on the computer screen, I realized the concert was on a Saturday night! Yikes! I never stay up late on Saturday nights! I decided to buy four tickets anyway.
A few weeks ago, concert night finally arrived. I was fairly anxious all day about the idea of doing something fun and adventurous on a Saturday evening. I pondered a variety of semi-irrational thoughts like: What if I don't get enough sleep and I say all the prayers wrong on Sunday? And what if the concert goes really late and I get a flat tire and can't make it back to Stewartville in time for church?
Eventually, I had to stop worrying and get in the car. It was time to head to Minneapolis, and I was in the driver's seat. Once my friends and I arrived, I got more and more excited for the show to begin.
The doors to the venue didn't open until 8 p.m. The opening act didn't start until after 9 p.m. By 10:15 p.m., Local Natives hadn't yet taken the stage.
I tried to remind myself to relax and not think about responsible bedtimes.
Then the lights came up and the band took their spots on the stage. Happiness flowed through my veins! Everyone in attendance stood up throughout the show and sang along to the songs.
The concert was a sacred space for me. During one particular song, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. What a blessing it was to spend the evening with three of my favorite friends on the planet, rocking out to my favorite songs by my favorite band at my favorite venue in Minneapolis!
As they continued to play, I lost all track of time. The concert did end late, and the drive back home was long, but it was 100-percent worth it. And everything on Sunday went great. I had prepared for all the details ahead of time, and although I stayed up past 10 p.m., I still had plenty of energy for worship.
The experience taught me that now and then, adventures are important. Sure, I adore my red fleece cat pajamas and Lawrence Welk. But I also enjoy busy city streets, tall black boots, and singing at the top of my lungs.
There must be a way to integrate all the pieces of who I am into the person God is calling me to become. I think I'll just keep putting my puzzle together, one Saturday night at a time.