When Tshepiso plays the drums, his whole face lights up—his smile goes from ear to ear and his eyes widen with the same delight a child has when their wildest dream comes true. The passion and joy radiate off of him so strongly you can't help but be infected by it.
One Sunday I was leading worship in the youth group, and Tshepiso was scheduled to play on drums. I arrived fifteen minutes early only to find Tshepiso already behind the drum kit, sitting and staring at the drums with what looked like a mixture of wonder and reverence. If you knew his story, you would understand why.
Tshepiso grew up in a small town in the northernmost province of South Africa. About five years ago, a pastor from our church was passing through town and met Tshepiso. He asked the pastor to pray for him that he would be able to play drums one day. Several years later Tshepiso moved to Pretoria to go to school, and the only student housing available was next to a church up the hill. When he learned that there was a worship evening on Wednesdays, Tshepiso decided to check it out, only to run into the very pastor who prayed for him five years earlier (this pastor, by the way, happens to play drums). Thus began a beautiful mentoring relationship.
Tshepiso is one of the best drummers at our church but he doesn't own a drum kit. To this day, he practices on pillows in his room. When he gets to church, you can understand why he sits behind that drum kit and looks on it with wonder and reverence. When he picks up his sticks, the smile erupts and the joy explodes. His lack of resources doesn't keep him from pursuing his God-given passion.
I began to think of the many excuses I make as to why I can't do this or that. While I would tell you decisively that I trust God, the reality is, my actions and posture often indicate that I don’t. I allow the natural to determine my reality and not the Supernatural. I look to the things I can see—my circumstances, my schedule, or my bank account—rather than to the One who created all that I can see.
It is easy to hide behind these excuses; faith and trust are hard work! Yet the truth is this: if the passion is there, and if God is behind it, lack of resources can't possibly hold me back. Even if I have to practice on pillows, God will provide the drum kit when the time comes. Tshepiso reminds me of this every time I have the privilege of leading worship with him.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
- Are there any areas in your life where lack of resources are holding you back? Are there creative ways around this? Take some time to brainstorm!
- Is there something God is calling you to do, but your circumstances seem to say it can’t be done? Are you limiting yourself because (while you would never say this overtly) you doubt God?
- Take action! Take one creative step into living out your calling/passion, and then take another!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Annie Erickson and her husband, Dan, live in Pretoria, South Africa with their three children. They are a part of CRM's Ethne collective and minister to churches and church leaders in the region.