My Momma had a notebook that assisted her in following Holy Spirit.
She took it to church stuffed with lyrics, choruses, hymns, and worship songs. Some pages are from old hymnals, but others are typewritten sheets or handwritten scraps on the back of old browned pieces of paper.
You see, Momma played the organ and was often called out of a congregation to play without prior notice. She didn’t like being unprepared, therefore, she began to keep the notebook and it gradually grew fat.
I saw her face recently as I was sitting at my computer writing. And then unexpectedly a few days later, I ran across this notebook lying in the bottom of a drawer and mistakenly thought it was her diary.
Sitting in an easy chair, I began leafing through the years of memories. I remembered holding one of those little pieces of paper as my hands trembled before the microphone while I sang. The first time, I’d only been 7 years old, but Momma was right there behind me at her keyboard.
She carefully watched the tempo of every singer she accompanied. Her gift was that she followed them rather than forcing them to follow her. Everyone who ever worked with her appreciated that aspect. She was the epitome of support. And her ear heard even in the far corner of the sanctuary during every spirit-filled worship. So when Holy Spirit moved, she followed Him too. Even when He’d begin singing from someone in that corner.
But I wondered what this had to do with me right now? I’m not a musician. I’m a writer. And even though I hear messages quite often in song, I was pretty sure that is not what this was about.
So I asked Father, but He didn’t answer immediately. I considered jumping into the shower. He seems to love talking in there. But instead, I sat down and began writing this article because He’ll often speak as I write.
And He did.
Another, more recent memory came to mind. It’s a moment when I asked Father, “Why do I write so randomly? Often, I can’t jot down an inspiration and later feel the passion for writing it. That fire comes in the moment along with the inspiration and if I don’t follow, it won’t be the same again.”
That’s what Momma did with music. She followed the passion of the Spirit in the moment that it came. When those little tongues of fire brought their inspirations and messages into this realm, they were translated in the moment through her fingers at the keyboard. And not only did she follow where it led her, but where it led everyone in the room. She’d catch the strains and follow the breeze wherever it blew.
And the notebook held her tools. If a song rose but no one could remember the words, she had the lyrics. If inspiration requested that someone sing, she had the words. She was ready. To follow.
“Quench not the Holy Spirit” comes to mind. And I gotta say, “Thank you, Momma, for showing me how it’s done.”
If you’ve never enjoyed a gathering where the music is led by Holy Spirit, then I say go quickly and find it. You’ll never enjoy anything so much. He doesn’t require anyone’s orchestration because He knows where He wants to go. And all we must do to enjoy Him is to follow.
When I wrote “The Kingdom of God at Rose Rock” I carried this example into that community. It was how they heard God speak corporately.
Holy Spirit doesn’t need a leader. He can manage very well on His own. And I think it’s odd when people believe that kind of meeting will be chaotic and unrewarding. They have obviously never experienced it because that isn’t how it turns out. Holy Spirit is actually quite a gentleman. And He behaves beautifully.
Yep, this was my reminder from my Momma. So, I won’t wonder why I write the way I do. I won’t consider it undisciplined or moody. I’ll embrace it and enjoy following where that breeze blows just as Momma taught me.
Thank you, Father, for giving me such a lovely teacher.
And thank you for joining me on this journey today. I send blessings with you on yours.