Posted by Craig Borlase on 28 July 2014

At the start of a worship set at a recent conference I took a few moments to look around. I was a good few years younger than the average age, which is saying something when you consider the amount of grey I’ve got going on in my hair these days. So I was automatically in a pretty good mood.

As we played I watched the different reactions to the music we were playing. Some people were a little reserved - no surprises there - but the bulk were lapping it up. As the first session moved on there were times when there was a lot of energy in the room, and it wasn’t all coming out of the speakers. None of it was quite what I expected, and I didn't mind admitting that I’d made some foolish assumptions about the way that people were going to react.

The conference progressed in much the same way, with me realising again and again how I’d got things wrong about these men and women in comfortable trousers who were throwing themselves into things with increasing enthusiasm.

It wasn’t just in the sung worship that this happened. In seminars they abandoned their fifty-and-sixty-something English reserve and willingly embraced the prophetic - something which was new to many.

The weekend was a perfect illustration of a principle that is far, far too easy to forget: that in faith, unlike much of the rest of life, enthusiasm travels further than talent.

Why is that? Why is it that all the honed skills and upgraded gear, the clever licks and latest tricks will only ever get us so far? Dumb question, really. Perhaps we should be asking about what causes us to gradually shift away from a place where we are willing to be foolish, where we are not afraid of our raw passion, where we stop taking risks and start calculating results? When do we start hiding behind our skills?

Those answers need more than a closing paragraph to get unpacked. So let’s wind down with this simple reminder: God has a long track record of using willing, enthusiastic, risk-embracing fools. How about we invest in those skills a little more?

More like this

Seven things to remember when it all goes wrong

Sooner or later we all find ourselves with frozen fingers, a blank mind and vocal chords that have suddenly turned mute. How on earth are you going to get out of it?

This Time Tomorrow

This time tomorrow - if not already - you’ll need no reminding whatsoever of how hectic this time of year is. If you’re a parent, church leader or in any way conscious, doing nothing is not exactly an option at Christmas. And yet, it’s at the heart of the Christmas story...

The Story behind the Song: When The Tears Fall

We don't spend much time singing about the harder aspects of life, do we? Tim Hughes wonders if we're missing out on something.