This past Sunday, I visited a church as an import translator for their Chinese service. Thanks to an extremely early driver who arrived at our parsonage two hours before the worship service, I arrived at the church far ahead of schedule, thus indirectly obliged to attend their English service.
Now, I was invited over for the second service, where lots of people recognized me, knew me, and adored me. To them, I was the gifted one and only daughter of the beloved Rev. Danny. For them, I was like a young guest of honor, someone a specialized driver picked up for the translator's position on the pew and in the pulpit. That's what I had expected.
What I didn't expect, was to be greeted as a late-comer by an English service usherette who reacted to my formal business attire. Since I was just waiting for the next service, I opted for a back seat. There I sat, anonymous and quiet, no high-profile, no people reacting with smiles to my presence. It felt weird.
My comfort was restored with the turnover to the Chinese service. Sitting up front, standing on stage, having everyone know me, I felt everything to be back to familiarity...but I had realized one truth already.
Over all these years of nearly living on stage every Sunday, I've been allowing my ministry rather than my Christianity to define me. I'm used to having a seat every week, on the first row as translator, at the front pews as worship team member, or perhaps with the choir. I'm too used to doing something, too used to letting ministerial posts identify me. Whether in my church or another church, when I'm all alone without any "service" to do, I don't even know where to sit.
That experience was quite a wake-up call from God. I know my duty is to worship Him, and that includes the times when I am alone with no church duties at hand. When I'm beset with numerous duties in "worship" service, I sometimes lose the ability to be a pure and simple worshipper, one who worships in spirit and in truth, regardless of the job, regardless of the seat.
This is no dramatic experience, nor is it any beautifully-written incident of an encounter with God. This is just a post about another reminder from the Lord, a reminder that I think I need more often. I am a Christian, who serves on stage...not vice versa.