Some of you who read this might probably know how my Sundays go. For those who don’t, well, let’s just say that for the past three years I have (mostly) cancelled EVERY Sunday plan that you might have, and let’s also just say that I am not always able to finish weekend homework and have to rush with it on Monday mornings…basically, I’m booked the whole day at church.
Well, what I assumed would happen that Sunday was that I’d wake up that morning at 4:50, reach church at 6:30, play guitar for the first three services in Sunday school (for kids), attend the fourth, and play guitar in the fifth service for which I had been preparing and practising the whole week.
- To increase your chances of waking up early, it’s best you sleep early. As usual, I almost obeyed this rule, and then proceeded to ignore it at the last second. I prepared myself mentally to sleep the previous night at 11:30 (which is WAY TOO EARLY for me), and was so engrossed in watching music videos and guitar lessons and Facebook AND browsing guitar-related stuff online that I slept a little before 1:30.
- So I was lying on my bed and set up the alarm for 4:50 (I thought of setting it for 5:15, but that day, all my better ideas became bitter ideas). Then a message came on my phone “Time left for alarm: 3 hours and 38 minutes”. Being a stupidly optimistic person, I brightened up and I thought “Cool! I have three and a half hours of solid sleep!” What was I thinking?! So I kept the alarm a little away from my bed, and I slept…
- When I woke up, I saw a bright light. Not from the Son (of God), but from the sun. The sun had risen (no pun intended). And from my calculations, I deduced that the time was…too late. Something was sharing my pillow with me. It was my phone! And when I saw it, my mind deduced the modus operandi: it had rung at 4:50 and I had taken it and stopped the alarm IN MY SLEEP, and kept it near my pillow. I had found the victim’s body lying on the pillow. Me. I had also found the criminal. Me, again. I took my phone and saw the time. 6:08 A.M.
- Being way too late, I messaged a Sunday school co-ordinator that I could make it only for the next service. She was (thankfully) okay with it. I lay on my bed, dejected with my sleepy self and was reminded of Jesus shouting at his disciples for sleeping while he was praying in the Mount of Olives. To worsen things up, my brother suddenly woke up and exclaimed “Woah, it’s 6:15! So late!” and then I said “Yeah I know.” He then said “Oh, you’re awake!” and then slept as though he had never woken up.
- Oh well. I then woke up, got ready, and got to church by 8. I went there thinking I’d be playing guitar for Sunday school as me and my friend were the only ones who came for practice the previous day. Well, guess what, there was another guitarist there holding the guitar all set for playing for that service. Since I was his friend (and that he was a LOT better than me), I didn’t mind him taking my place and went to attend regular service.
- At regular service, I’m just there, worshipping God, and then I feel a knock on my head. No, nothing fell from heaven. Another friend of mine (I have a lot of friends at church) hit me and called me to sit with him.
- And next to him, sat a friend whom I hadn’t seen in two whole years! Reconnecting was cool (not awkward like how reconnections mostly are), and we all decided to go out together to eat breakfast after the service. But, my head said “No sir, no way, you have a Sunday school to be playing in!” I was wondering how I’d make it up, since it had been two whole years since I had seen my friend. Then, after the service, the solution to that problem came up. Mr “Better Guitarist” was still holding that guitar! I was free for the next service, and went to eat with peace of mind.
- However, to eat food, you need money. I forgot my wallet and remembered I did so only when we were ordering what to eat! Well, another friend who had come to eat, revealed his stash of “black money” (I’ll ask his advice and then post it all under the title “How to stash away black money and make it look like your parents aren’t giving you that much”!) and saved us from dishwashing duties at the restaurant!
- I was supposed to attend the fourth service, but since I had attended the second service (with my friends) and went to eat in the third service, I played in the fourth service for Sunday school (Mr “Better Guitarist” had to go anyway). And guess what? A teacher who hadn’t come for practice was going to sing! So we had to change scales according to his ease and all that jazz. The songs were easy however, and things went on without much of a hitch.
- Well, after that I had lunch and went on to practice for the fifth service. The keyboard player and the drummer were the only ones who had come. We had a basic run-through of the songs and then, since the bass player had already played the same songs in previous services, we wrapped it up pretty quick, an hour before the service was to start!
- We had a new acoustic guitarist, and he didn’t know he had to bring his own guitar. So we used the guitar that was in Sunday school, and I spent the one hour that was gained in the previous point to run him through and show him what to play for the song.
- Well, another problem cropped up. When you practice a song, it’s not as easy. There are intros, endings, instrumental parts, hooks, riffs, rhythmic syncopations for that particular song and many other things to follow. Tiny things like, when the guitars should come in, when the drums should play the whole beat or lay off, when to not play anything and let the vocals take over and so many other “seemingly simple things” are absolutely necessary to make a song actually, sound like a song, and not a boring repetitive “loop”. We didn’t define all that in practice. So, it went really crazy, and I was really confused! I flopped in certain intros, and the vocals suffered, and to add to the confusion, we didn’t sound check either! And so, I couldn’t hear the drums, the rest of the band couldn’t hear me, and so the sound engineer had to keep coming on stage and keep adjusting volumes and changing microphone positions and all. Any worse and I’d be thankful for not wearing a white shirt because rotten tomato stains don’t go easily.
- And then, I came off the stage, expecting to feel bad, but then my mind went “It’s okay, the people were able to worship. Didn’t you see them in front connecting with God? That’s your point, isn’t it? Whether you play well or bad, they should be able to use that music you make as a tool to connect with God.” And then I was okay with it, just as I was okay with everything else that day…
Yes, bad days happen to even the best of us. Thing is, everything happens for a reason. And so, it’s actually okay for things not to go ‘as expected’. And maybe I made a fool of myself on several occasions and got more than my fair share of daily required mini-heart attacks. But it was okay to let things go on and enjoy what God unfolds for that day. And I really enjoyed that Sunday with all its mishaps, mainly because I saw myself taking each mishap in my stride, and not really worrying, and solutions came just as automatically.
And that sums it up.