JBC is having a music concert for Easter, and all the vocalists, those playing instruments, and sound people are spending a lot of time in rehearsal, practicing so that the Easter service will be excellent.
When are eight kids were young we used to get invited to dinner regularly. Before we went we would sit down at our own table and rehearse. We would rehearse issues of good manners, what they would say if offered something they didn’t like, and how to be respectful of those whose house we were going to. Because we rehearsed what they should do and offered rewards if they did good, they usually behaved very well.
I have rehearsed in my mind what I would do and say in certain situations. What will I say to a person who walks up to me after a sermon and criticizes what I taught or argues with a point of doctrine? I want to be humble, teachable, and not be defensive or argumentative, but my natural, impulsive response, I know, will be everything that I don’t want it to be. So I rehearse in my mind what I will say and do so that I will be pleasing to the Lord and not offensive to the person talking to me.
If I get news that I have liver cancer and probably won’t live for more than six months, what will I do, how will I talk, what will I think? I want to live like a man with great faith so that I glorify God and attract people to Him by my strength and confidence. So I rehearse in my mind exactly what I will say, how I will act, and how I will think. Some might say that I don’t know what I will do in that kind of situation, but I know that the more I rehearse the better I will do.
If I get a phone call and I learn that Patty or one of our kids or grandkids was killed in a car accident what will I say, how will I act, and what will I think. I think and meditate on what I believe would be most pleasing to the Lord, what would most impact the lives of those around me, in my church, and those in my family, especially my grandkids. I script that response in my head and then I rehearse it, over and over.
I recognize that I am often prideful, defensive, and selfish and that my natural self will override my will in stressful situations. I don’t want to do that, so I rehearse and anticipate every case that I can imagine happening and practice it in my head perfectly, and the more I practice, the better I will do. My goal is always to please the Lord with my life, glorify Him in all that I do, and influence as many people as possible to love the Lord.
Some might think that this kind of thinking is morbid, but that is true only if there isn’t a God and if we are not headed to heaven the moment we die. What we rarely think about, we will fear. When I get news of my impending death, if I do (I might get hit by a car riding my bicycle,) I intend to make the days following an adventure and a challenge.