Convuluted And Manic Both Apply.

Normal is a long way back in the rear view mirror of my life.

Normal is a long way back in the rear view mirror of my life.

There are some tales that are so profoundly confusing that they beggar the imagination. You stand in the midst of them and wonder how you got there, and then you wonder if there really is a way out of the center toward your goal. The story of Casting Crowns and their concert at Target Center in Minneapolis is one of those messes that I specialize in of late.

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When the concert was announced months ago I told my wife that I’d likely not be going as it was on a work night for me. I like Laura Story and For King and Country as well, so I knew it would be a great concert. However, I hate taking vacation days early in the year, it makes the Santa season tough – sometimes I need that time off at the end of the year way more than I do in April. Especially when it’s what we call demand time at work – I don’t have to get the date authorized, I can demand to take the day off. I get 40 hours of that a year and I use it spariningly. Mainly because if I need to take time off to shoot a commercial or record voice overs the money ratio demands that I sacrifice some demand time. It’s usually a 20:1 difference between what I make doing acting jobs and my hourly wage , often quite a bit more. I husband those 40 hours.

Shiny object, toast, rhubarb jam, ah, yes, the concert. I bought two tickets for the concert so that my wife and a coworker of mine could attend together. They have gone to concerts before this and had a good time so it was a nice fit. Problem solved, they’d both enjoy the music and I’d just work my normal schedule.

Three days ago that changed. KTIS sent me an email informing me that they had 4 VIP tickets in the suite that they’d like me to have as a reward for my volunteer work at the station! Sweet news, I love volunteering there and this was pure joy. So I let my wifie know and she forbade me from telling my coworker – the suite would be a surprise. Now I had to find someone to take the two tickets I’d already purchased and two more people who would like to visit the suite with my wife and my friend.

You have no idea how hard it is to give tickets away. Really hard. The tickets down in the usual area were the first to go, I had been blessed with some tickets to see Petra last year and so the call went out to the giver of that gift. Yup, he was there in hours to pick up the ducats. Problem one solved.

The suite tickets have been gifted to no less than 4 sets of people in the last 24 hours. Yes I’ll take them was followed within hours by sorry I can’t go now. Early this morning I found the final recipients of the two spare tickets – the daughter of a friend and her boyfriend. Both lovely young people in college who love the bands. Perfect.

Just before leaving for work this morning wife unit #1A informs me that she feels terribly ill. Recovery from surgery is slower than expected and today is one of the bad days. “I probably won’t be going if I feel like this…” Super-de-dooper. She’d been looking forward to this for weeks, so I know she feels like something Stormy chewed up.

Obligatory Stormy photo.

Obligatory Stormy photo.

4.5 hours before the concert the phone rings – wife unit will not be attending concert. My pea brain kicks in and analyzes the situation as: KTIS gives me nice tickets to thank me for helping. I send 4 ringers to sit in my place and work. It smacks of ingratitude at the very least. Pull up vacation schedule, years vacation to date, etc. I can spare 5 hours to go to the concert and occuply at least my once seat. Call accomplice/coworker/friend of wife and let her know about change in plans.

And, having now gone full circle, off to the concert. Is there any wonder why my brain hurts trying to keep up with this stuff?

Then it happened. I was in the Explorer with my friend, both of us laughing about my slobmobile and we drove like a couple of punch-drunk boxers to the arena. Got there early enough to score a primo parking spot, walk through the arena with no crowd, and grab some sodas and appetizers at the sports bar downstairs. Minimal complaining about work.

We got to the suite where … well, God showed up. For the next three hours I met up with friends of friends, friends at the station, fellow volunteers, on air people I’ve come to know, and the calm that God provides when you need it most. I didn’t realize just how hard I’d been running myself down for the last few weeks but the healing words of the bands and singers startled me in ways I just didn’t expect.

The guys from Casting Crowns talked about needing to be in the Word. For most that means the Bible. For me, Saturday night, it meant the words and music. The messages of these artists were all rooted in the Bible. Sometimes the words come right from the Bible. I listened closely, let the healing love of Jesus wash over me, strengthen me, refresh me. I sang along, let tears stream down my face, and filled my heart with the love that swept over that arena.

If you’ve never been to a modern Christian concert, go soon. Find out where the bands are playing. Google Christian Concert Alerts and find an artist that you like. Go and worship with thousands of others. Find that love in the music you listen to every day. If you don’t live in an area with a Christian station, you can create your own on the internet. There are lots of them. It will change how you look at things. I promise this with all my heart.

Three hours and twenty minutes later we walked back to the car. I had been healed unexpectedly. By KTIS and their gift of concert tickets. Thank you, Elisabeth. My spine is a bit straighter, my gait a bit lighter, and my head a lot clearer as a result of those three hours with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Now, for some pictures:

castingcrownsendset

Casting Crowns

Laura Story

Laura Story

Thousands of cellular phones during Amazing Grace with For King and Country

Thousands of cellular phones during Amazing Grace with For King and Country

Have a blessed day.

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