I had the long-awaited privilege of attending my first Michael W. Smith praise and worship concert. Of course, it was quite wonderful. It was part worship, part entertainment, part fellowship, and part heaven, actually. If you'll allow me an opinion here, I think that this singer, prolific songwriter and musician is a unique treasure and gift to the Body of Christ in this day and age and I believe much of his music will stand the test of time.
With that said, if you ask what most impressed me about this popular artist, I would have to say Michael's listening ear for the voice of His Shepherd.
The audience was allowed a brief and unrehearsed glimpse into the spiritual life of this giant of a man in the Christian music industry. Towards the end of the concert there was a noticeably awkward silence. Then he shared the reason for the lull. "I'm waiting for instructions," he flatly said.
Must be waiting for the sound guy to tell him what to do next, I thought. Or perhaps he needed input regarding song selection from one of his musicians who was sharing the stage with him.
But that momentary unexpected time of silence then yielded to the astounding realization that he was waiting to hear from the Author and Creator of music, indeed, the Chief Musician Himself! This polished performer and consummate professional, before 6,000 people, by his deliberate and unhurried pause, indicated that he wasn't going to take the next step until he was satisfied that he had heard from the Lord on the matter.
Michael demonstrated an achingly simple but important spiritual lesson to me that night. If I don't know what to do next, I wait for instructions from "that great Shepherd of the sheep." (Hebrews 13:20)
(The W stands for Whitaker, by the way!)
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