Variations on the Same Dream

Mark Johnston, Connections Pastor


I woke up in a panic at 4AM.

It’s almost always variations on the same dream.

In this version, i was working at my old radio station job, spinning country records at KEYE-AM in Perryton, Texas, only this time, instead of stacks of 45s and albums to choose from, i had like 5 records (2 of them broken), a roundish piece of metal and some albums that didn’t fit the format. (Now i know that most radio is automated these days, and the DJs that are left don’t actually play records, because everything is digital now, but apparently my sub-conscious is a little behind the technology curve.)

So i’m sitting there with the mic open, nothing to say and no songs to play, except “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” by Olivia Newton-John and a cartridge where the jingle singers joyfully shout “Country 14” in unison.

I’m unprepared.

I have this dream a lot. Usually i’m at the Stonepoint building or some other church on a Sunday morning, ready to lead worship…except i’m not ready. I’m totally not ready. The band hasn’t rehearsed, we have no charts and people are looking to me to lead them some place that i haven’t been and am absolutely not ready to go. The clock says it’s time to start and i’m holding a big bag of nothin’.

Here’s the spiritual meat patty in the hamburger bun of my insecurity and insomnia: how many of us (me included…although i do at least have songs ready) prepare ourselves for worship on Sundays?

Do we get our hearts ready to encounter a holy God? Or do we just show up, like we do every other time we show up…frustrated from getting kids ready and fed, arguing with the spouse over dishes or bills or trash or whatever is bugging us that particular morning just like every other Sunday. Do we walk in upset that there’s not enough parking or our kind of donut or wondering if they’re gonna sing a song i like or don’t like or not even having a thought of God cross our minds before we walk in the door?

Or do you come in, prayed-up and ready to pour your heart out to the One who created you, the One who knows your every thought, wants to shine eternal, healing light on the sin you’d like to hide and wants to heal your pain, strip away your insecurity and wants you to rest in Him?

Are you ready to tell your friends that’s why you’re there and encourage them to do the same?

That way, if you walk in one Sunday, and all we’ve got is some broken records, a round piece of metal and Olivia Newton-John, then Stonepoint Church is still gonna encounter a holy, loving God and we can lay our lack of preparation before Him on the altar and worship.

It’s not the songs, it’s not the sermon, it’s our hearts…and the if we ever really figure that out, then God is gonna do amazing things in two little towns in East Texas.

1 thought on “Variations on the Same Dream

  1. Many Sundays I bring the broken records of my life and heart with me to worship. As the music and words of each song play out I can feel parts of my brokenness coming back together. Tears often flow and my heart hurts at how undeserving I am of God’s mercy and grace. So many times in reading scripture a passage will remind me of a song of worship we sing. I love the teaching hour and the way Pastor Brandon reveals God’s plan to us and many times things he says I connect to a song. Music to me is a very important part of my walk with Christ. I am not that great at praying, but I can sing to Him and talk to Him and thank Him for loving me. Thank you Pastor Mark for sharing your wonderful gift with all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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