I recently had a difficult time singing Andrae Crouch’s “Let the Church Say Amen.” While I’m sure my musical limitations were a factor, my stubborn singing habits shoulder most of the blame. See, I was trying to sing both the lead with Marvin Winans, and “amen” with the choir. Things got tricky when the two parts overlapped.
When I sing a song with no other human beings present, I sing all the parts. This is ineffective in the world of gospel music, a genre full of choirs divided into at least soprano, alto, and tenor ranges, regularly singing completely different words at varying times. Throw in a solo on top of it all, and I can’t help but jump back and forth between parts.
So this past weekend I was driving, singing some of everything, when I stopped for a Frappuccino. Later, back in my car, music up, I realized that I had to choose not only which parts to sing, but also when to shut up so I could sip my Frappuccino before it melted. Sure it’s not such a big deal when it’s a song like Crouch’s that gets radio time every half hour, but what about when Brandy’s “Sitting Up in My Room” makes its bi-monthly appearance on deejays’ playlists? What then? Which verses have ‘must sing’ lines and which parts are merely fluff? I need to make up my mind because here comes the next line, I thought. And can I really not shut up long enough to maintain the integrity of a $5.00 frap? Ugh, decisions.
Yes, I’m dramatic. However, I’m not the only one who tries to sing multiple parts – and many people try to play too many roles in other areas of life as well. We all have a coworker who does every single task on a project solo rather than working with the team. We know a woman riding shotgun in a relationship who keeps reaching for the steering wheel, and we’ve seen a man trying to play daddy to his grown girlfriend. We’ve watched friends try to fix problems too big for human hands, and have noticed people manipulating situations when they should just let things unfold naturally. Yes, we all know folks who can’t get their part right – and sometimes the person out of place, off-key, and missing the cue is the (wo)man in the mirror.
Unlike in my chaotic music listening sessions, we don’t always get to choose the roles we play in life. Sometimes we’ll prefer the part someone else was given. Some moments will require us to be completely silent. And occasionally, we must learn to fall back so that a more competent person can step forward.
One of the hardest roles to play as an independent adult is that of a child of God. Differentiating between what you must do and what only God can do, is difficult. Learning how to yield your will to His can be a lifelong journey.
Lecrae reminds us of this struggle in his song “Background.” He tells God: I could play the background
‘Cause I know sometimes I get in the way.
So won’t you take the lead…
What are you working on? Are you trying to lead when you should play a supporting role? Or are you exhausting yourself trying to play every role? Perhaps you’re only transitioning back and forth between a few parts, but it causes you to leave some things unfinished? Take an honest look at your life situations and ask yourself whether you’re playing your part.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.