Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What its All About...

So I went to a concert all the way in Indiana this weekend. Headliners (and our drawing point) were the newsboys with some other great bands like Seventh Day Slumber also performing. I will admit, consciously I knew my reason for going really didn't have much to

do with God. I even said it to myself. I'm going for the newsboys, to have fun with my friends and to get a much needed break. Yes, being a Christian concert, God was involved, if even indirectly. But He wasn't my reason for going. I love the newsboys lately and was excited to get a chance to see them on this tour as they are not coming near us. I had already lamented to the drummer and he apologized and then Jenn called and said "We're going to IN". YAY! So my reasoning had nothing to do with experiencing God, it could have been any other rock concert for me in my intentions.

I took my camera with me, my pro one. The last 2 newsboys concert I've been to this summer I just had a small point and shoot and had been unable to take the photos I'd really wanted. I spent a lot of time during the opening acts taking pics for light testing and during Seventh Day Slumber I took some real shots, b/c I now like them (great in concert, wish I'd had gone to the Cumberland show!) Now, we had decent seats, but not the best thanks to a foul up on our dear Duncan's part. A newsboy rep was supposed to meet Jenn and me and spirit us away to a magical world of backstage fun and drum riser pics. Didn't happen. What did happen though was Duncan coming out and personally apologizing to us profusely for quite some time and then letting us hang out with him in a restricted off stage area. Quite fun indeed. Unfortunately, what this meant was I had to shoot through the crowd, which with my lens is no big deal. However, we were at a Christian concert. This meant that many hands at times were raised above heads, making it much more difficult to shoot. I actually at one point during S.Day Slumber thought, darn it if these people would quit worshipping....not a good thought, even though I was joking. (somewhat). Then I saw these 3 guys that just would not put their darn hands down and of course, they were right in my line of shooting to get the frontman in frame. So I put down my camera for a minute and enjoyed the songs more consciously than before. While I was doing that I thought to shut off the flash to get these guys in sillouhette, with the front man focused. Doing this I got some pretty cool shots. One like the one above, which I am calling, What Its All About.

You see, even if you're like me and you just need a good time so you head to a concert to see a rock band, if you're going to a Christian show, its not going to be just a show. It can't be. You see, no matter what your intentions, if you get together with a group of Christians and start singing praises-screamed in a hard song or sung softly in worship-God shows up. Its no longer a concert. Its no longer about the band you are obsessed with. God's presence fills the room and your focus is drawn to him. Its not about the drums, lights, guitars, vocals-its about God. I saw that picture and immediately thought-that's what its all about-worship. The hands praising God are in the forefront and the rock star seems far in the distance and seen through that worship. Even though I went not necessarily for a God experience (though I knew there would be one) he still comes. It still happens and my focus is still drawn to him.

I don't even know how to explain the awe-encompassing experience of gathering together with thousands of strangers for a fun time, you end up singing and then sharing in God's awesome presence. It is such a beautiful thing, so comforting, so powerful, so beyond words. Even if you really aren't in the mood to feel God or worship, you can't help it. Its real, its tangible, its the Creator of the universe and all things spending time with his people, his children. Its so much more than a concert, its love coming down among us.

Going to a concert is so fun and exciting and makes me feel young again. But I am thankful that I can go to concerts that just don't have an empty purpose of entertaining but that I can go and have the time of my life and leave knowing I met with my God.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Christmas for adults.

So Sunday I'm leaving for a short road trip with our best friends and can't wait! Sensible people wouldn't travel over 8 hours for a concert, but what fun is there in sensible? Not to mention Tony and I have seen this band twice in the last four months and the Porter's just saw them last month. But, its one heck of a concert and a great time -so definitely worth it.

I so need this right now anyway. Though I love staying home with my kids and not having to hire someone to raise them, it gets tough. Right now is one of those times. Laci is increasingly needy and Ella is, well Ella, and increasingly Beastly. You would think learning new words would help with tantrums, but the words she is using instead have apparently increased her understanding of what she wants and what she is receiving are two drastically different concepts and this infuriates her more than normal. Having the toddler brain operating entirely on the id portion, leads to an entire day of screams "I WANT IT WANT IT WANT IT!" and "I WUB IT" as if her undying love for my phone will force me to hand it over.

This being said, I've been a working mom the last couple weeks, subbing at Laci's school and haven't even had much time with them! I think possibly spending my patience on other people's children has left my well dry by the time I come home. I love them more anything, but sometimes that doesn't get me through! We all need breaks, and basing that mine and Tony's conversations are limited to texting due to interruptions from kids everytime one of us opens our mouths, I think we are due!

Understandably, this weekend is looking more and more appealing by the moment. Top it off with the fact that the 4 of us rarely get to do anything and then usually the kids are in tow, this is just what we need! 8 hours in a car usually doesn't sound appealing, but with great friends it can be a great time, (and again, no kids). Add to that Jenn and I have amped ourselves up like kids seeing sugar plums dancing in their heads on Christmas Eve and its been a great two weeks of planning. Of course, who else could turn a free concert into a rather expensive venture but us, with our customized chucks, stalker gift bags for the 'boyz, necessary Snuggies and photos w/the drummer on his crazy drum riser contraption and more?! But like the title said, this is as fun for me as looking forward to Christmas as a child was and its been worth it and we aren't even there yet!

I think a lot of times as adults we don't allow ourselves much to look forward to,instead focusing on the duldrums of daily life we are accustomed to and don't really live. We need to stop focusing on our work and our tasks at hand and live a little.

We will be Sunday yay! Hopefully, we'll make it through security okay. (our favorite drummer has a facebook we frequent, so he may have extra measures in place). Must go, Beastie is running toward me with a cup yelling "more juice". See what I mean?