It has been a long time since my hands shook so hard from being nervous that I couldn't hold a glass of water still enough to sip from it. But that was the case last Sunday. I've been trying to figure out why this particular performance made us both (me and Eddie) so nervous. We knew there was a lot riding on it. We sang for the ERF 50th Anniversary Gala on Sunday. And we knew that the Rittal Arena was sold out (about 5000 people) and that the program was to be shown live on television. We also knew that we had one chance in front of a big audience like this to introduce our new album, "Inner Sanctum". So we wanted to do the best job we possible could. We also knew that there would be a lot of colleagues there that we haven't seen in years and even decades. So, we wanted to look our best, too. All of that, we knew.
What we didn't know was that on Saturday, after getting up at 6:30 AM and driving to Wetzlar to be awake and dressed for the show and ready to sing for the camera rehearsal, we would find - well, - pretty much -chaos. We tried to stay upbeat and see the humorous side of it all. After all, it was, for everyone involved, an exceptional situation. For the camera crew, for the orchestra, for the sound people, the teen choir, the speakers , the musicians, the performers and last but not least the soloists. And for all the people behind the scene. And of course, for ERF.
We were in our places on the stage at 10:30, were informed that our sound check would be moved to 12:15 and finally got to check our microphones at 4:45. Thank goodness we brought Peter Falke, our super duper sound guy with us.
I think the situation on Saturday sort of unnerved us. In spite of a delicious italian dinner that evening, we slept poorly in the hotel and had a big fight on Sunday morning. I wasn't ready to go down to breakfast at 3 minutes before 10, so Eddie stormed out of the room accusing me of ALWAYS being late, and ALWAYS doing this on purpose to him......
After he left, I brushed my hair and was ready to go to breakfast at 10:00, just as planned. But I sat down in the room and read another chapter of my book and then leisurely found my way down to the breakfast room where several other late eaters were enjoying their meals in the sunny breakfast room with lots of coffee and laughter. After enjoying their highly -preferable company I joined old grumpy Eddie. He apologized by squeezing fresh orange juice for me. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. By the end of breakfast, we were all laughing together and looking forward to the day.
Ingo Marx, an ERF writer, had told us the day before that the chaos just simply gave the Holy Spirit more room to work. And it seems that his philosophy is true! Because everything, and I do mean everything, went so smoothly and harmoniously and beautifully for the Gala Show that we just had our socks blessed off!
I've since been informed that nobody watching the program on TV could actually see my legs shaking, even though I was sure they would. Eddie and I were able to find our loving harmony in time to share that with the audience. The ERF people were so pleased and our Gerth Media record folks were pleased and colleagues were pleased and we were pleased and most most most important, we felt that the Lord was pleased with our offering. And we pray that listeners were moved, as we were, by how our chaos can result in a thing of beauty.