“What have you been up to lately?” The question came through my phone, a question I’ve been asked thousands of times, from an old friend I hadn’t seen for eons.
I’m a freelance video producer by trade. As such, I meet lots of people and get hired for numerous gigs I can describe. But when asked this question in this moment, I didn’t have a lot to say. And it caught my newly fifty-one year-old self by surprise.
Geez. Was this the start of a mid life crisis?
The fact was, the week before, I had been largely local and intertwined with the 5th grade musical. The Bronxville School hires a director and enlists a team of able parent volunteers to create a full performance. In this year’s show, there were 178 kids, 15 songs and any child who wanted a speaking part got one (my daughter had 14 lines). The play is written from scratch and sets, costumes and makeup are very good. And it all happens in the course of two weeks! By the time it gets to the weekend of the performances, the excitement is at a fever pitch.
I volunteered the Friday night before performance weekend to help with the dress rehearsal, but things intensified when an email arrived the next day 90 minutes before the first curtain, saying that the videographer had bailed. Was there any parent out there who knew how to run a video camera?
So that’s how I found myself spending close to 12 hours in a dark theater watching 2 casts doing the same performance two times. Though willing to help, my camera was locked in one position, leaving me with a lot of time to zone out.
Doing this good deed felt unremarkable.
A few weeks ago, Matt preached on Exodus, Chapter 17, verses 1-7, where the Bible talks about finding water in a desert, or, as one commentator put it: “Where God calls, God provides.”(You can hear that sermon here).
As the RCB Communications Director, I had been actively working to better the execution of our Sunday livestream. Some of our issues had been technical, and we realized we needed to find operators to run the livestream who could troubleshoot more than members of our staff. Was there anyone out there who would be willing to come every Sunday for 90 minutes who was experienced?
During those moments of my unremarkable service, God proved remarkable. Because he presented two of them.
Angus O’Friel (a junior) and Jake Adkins (a senior) were with me at the soundboard, managing a tremendous amount of moving parts, including monitoring 10 wireless headsets of kid cast members, a few who didn’t realize they were breathing very heavily during the show (to say it was distracting was an understatement- it required a real time adjustment of their audio). I witnessed these two in action and they did a great job. Within the unremarkable, I found my water.
Angus and Jake now alternate running the livestream, and those who have been tuning in have seen a positive difference. Moments like these make me realize that I’m not in a mid life crisis at all. Instead, I’m in transition to a life that offers me more surprises in where I find faith- and community.