One day I was talking to a buddy of mine who has been extremely successful in the music industry. Apart from writing several number one hits, he’s toured the world playing in front of packed out arenas. I had asked him if he still gets nervous before his concerts (I know that I never gave a message, regardless of audience size, that didn’t make me a little nervous). But he replied, “You know I really don’t get nervous at my own concerts anymore but you know what absolutely scares me to death? Award shows. Standing on stage to sing while you’ve got all your peers right there before you- sometimes it just really get’s to you.”
Ever since he said that, I can’t watch award shows the same. I get incredibly nervous for each artist and sit there silently praying that they have the performance of their life.
I was listening to the Grammy’s last year when Adele (one of my favorites) gave her notoriously off-key performance at the Grammy Awards, due to major sound issues. She made up for that moment by opening Sunday night’s show with an amazing rendition of “Hello,” but then later in the show during a tribute to her late friend, George Michael, it seemed as if travesty was going to strike again.
Did you see the moment? Clearly being off key and having trouble hearing, she just stops the performance. Right there on live TV she says, “I’m sorry for swearing and I’m sorry for starting again,” she continued after a bleeped out moment. “Can we start it again? I’m sorry, I can’t mess this up for him. I’m sorry. I can’t. I’m sorry for swearing, I’m really sorry.”
She was visibly upset, and appeared as if she was about to bust into tears. And who could blame her. If it were me, I think I might have just ran off the stage!
But Adele waited for the band to start the song over as the supportive star-studded crowd cheered her on. Her second attempt at singing the song was executed impeccably. And you know what? As soon as she finished the last note of the song, she received an extended standing ovation as tears welled up in her eyes.
It really was a beautiful moment.
I don’t want to over spiritualize this moment, but it was very moving to me; especially in my current situation. I was reminded that in essence, every human being needs do-overs. Some of us feel like we need them more than others, but we all need them.
So what if we learned a little lesson from Adele today.
What if we just….
1. First said, “stop”. I don’t like where this moment is headed. I don’t want it to end like this. I don’t want to be remembered for this. I screwed up. Something doesn’t feel right. I’m sorry. Can I get another chance?
It’s no surprise to many of you that I find myself in a situation where I feel like I need a “re-do”. I’ve hurt a lot of people and let many people down. This isn’t an appropriate forum for me to discuss all of that, but it’s fair to say I didn’t appropriately deal with a lot of hurt from my past and it came back to haunt me.
2. Started to sing again. What if instead of running off the stage or just quitting, we dug deep inside to muster up the courage to start again. What if we received the do-over that so many people are willing to give us and sing like never before.
I think one of the greatest gifts the people in our lives could ever give us (and for us to give them in return) is not to be the producer of the show saying, “Nope, you had one chance and you failed”- but it’s to be the one believing that with God’s help, you and I can be the people He created us to be. I’m with you because through His grace, you and I are capable of a re-do- and I’ll be the one giving you a standing ovation at the end of it all. That’s some powerful stuff, right there.
You know as I read through the Bible, I’m reminded that I have a slightly different perspective of this Book than many others do. I don’t see it as a make or break it road map or a to-do list anymore. And of course I do believe there are truths that will certainly point us in the right direction, but I don’t really think that was the main point.
By design I don’t believe the message of Jesus was, “Follow me and be perfect.” I think the message was, “Follow me. You can’t be perfect, so let me be perfect for you.”
It was never try harder. It was find Jesus.
Live in His grace and allow his desire to give you a re-do to compel you to live the life He designed for you to live.