note to self: STOP IT.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

I have a love/hate relationship with a certain praise team song I lead. I actually love the song. I just hate the very first note of the first verse. Or maybe it just hates me. The latter seems unlikely, I know.

The last time I sang this song, the instruments played the intro, got right up to the first verse and …

I didn’t have it.

I looked at the worship leader at the moment I was supposed to sing and shook my head. He started the song and turned it over after the first line.

When I talked to him later he said, “you’re just over thinking it.”

I tend to do that.

Just an hour earlier, I had walked into the music room for the pre-service rehearsal and the worship leader and the drummer were both there. I listened to them play and after a few minutes I recognized the guitar intro to Mighty to Save. The drummer recognized it and fell in. I absentmindedly came in on the right note. Fell in is more like it. I didn’t even try. Wasn’t even thinking about it.


It hadn’t always been simple. When I first learned the lead to Mighty to Save, I bought the Laura Story version, with the piano intro. Then I came to rehearsal and we didn’t have a pianist. We did have two guitars that day. And unfortunately, they each had chord charts in two different keys. I was standing closest to the guy with the wrong chart. I came on on the wrong note, but it fit, until midway into the verse, then it was glaringly obvious I was off.

Let the season of doubt begin.

After that, I had no confidence that I could come in on the right note. How could I have started on the wrong note and not even realized it? What if I did it again? How do I recover the song if I come in on the wrong note during worship? The music director offered to play my note on the flute for me. It got to the point where I believed I couldn’t do it without her.

I hated that.

I was determined to break my need for this crutch. I bought the Hillsong version of the song, with the guitar intro. I completely stopped listening to the piano version, even going to the extreme of turning off the radio if it began playing.


I was able to begin on the correct note without the flute playing it in the background. I led the song multiple times over the next few months without a problem.

So what was different about the last time I sang it?

the piano.

After I came in so effortlessly at the beginning of the pre-service rehearsal, we added keyboard to the intro and rehearsed it again after everyone else had gotten there.

I couldn’t find the note. Actually, I have no idea if I could or couldn’t find the note, because I didn’t try. I just said, “I don’t have it.”

Season Two. The doubt was back. I wimped out during the rehearsal, so you know what happened when it came time to start the song during worship, I froze up. Chickened out. wimped.

Will I ever be able to start this song on the right note if I hear a piano? I don’t know. But I won’t ever know if I don’t try.

So the wimping out for fear of getting it wrong? I’m going to STOP IT.

Wimping out for fear of getting it wrong . . .

I’m betting there’s a lot more I wimp on than that one little note.

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

One thought on “note to self: STOP IT.

  1. Can you look VISUALLY at the piano music and find the note you’re supposed to come in in the accompaniment, somewhere that your ear will hear it? Sometimes, when I work hard, I can TRICK my ear like that. Then it goes from impossible to FIND the note to impossible to MISS the note!

    Whatever method you use, you WILL find the right note. It’s a thing, now. It won’t let you go until you’ve mastered it. 🙂

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