One of the most exciting things about living is feeling alive. I’m talking energy…life…feeling God. I knew about 3 songs into the concert that I had to blog about it. I mean wanted everyone I know to experience what I felt as I sat in a packed out stadium that seats 22,000 (it wasn’t full and I can only estimate that it was at least 1/3 filled up) with screaming fans…alone…in solitude.
To set this up let’s start with music: its of God. I mean its gotta be. The way it moves you, speaks to you, provokes you to action. Or maybe that is words…no, its music. Now obviously I’m talking about the good stuff, the music that feeds your soul power, energy, life. So as I mumbled lyrics I barely knew (see its the music not the words) I reflected on my past year and how I met “Ed” through gospel Pandora stations. And I didn’t mind that his secular soulful vibes were interrupting my worship music. You see…real life, Christian life involves interruptions. They can either derail you or help you to relate and gain new perspective. Ahhhh, getting ahead of myself!
So, I listen to the radio. Shocker, I know. And I remember hearing about Ed coming to Houston and then getting excited. And I’m really not a concert girl. I’m a relationship person and concerts make me feel a little used if the performer doesn’t know my name, doesn’t look me in the eye, and then say thanks for coming. But I wanted to go, couldn’t deny it. And like many things in like I figured “I’ll get the details later, I’m going”. So I guess my internal procrastination alarm went off just in time because I checked the date and realized after contemplating for a couple of weeks that I needed to get my ticket to the concert (that was next week!). Got the ticket Monday, show was Thursday. Visualized my outfit, invited a couple folks-literally two people who couldn’t make it, decided to go anyway! Well, I had decided long before when I first heard it on the radio. Or maybe I subconsciously decided before that when I became a fan of his Pandora plays!
Anywho, head to the stadium, find free parking (yay), talk with my cute self to the building, through security, up to the ticket-checker, only to realize that my electronic ticket will not pull up due to low signal. There’s a technical way to say it…insert that here. All I know is for the next 45 minutes I was standing, walking, roaming, sweating, praying, regretting (not printing the ticket NOT being at the concert), listening to the opening act- she was good, but she wasn’t Ed so I was okay that I was outside. So as I looked at my 10% battery life and searched for wi-fi or cellular data signal (is that what you call it), I remained calm and knew “I’d get it…and it would be worth it. And how I felt and acted in the process wouldn’t matter as much as the outcome of a great experience.” So I literally walked back to my car pulled up the ticket, walked back, now sweaty from Houston humidity, got in, found my seat, and finally let out a sigh of…”I made it” relief.
“You finally made it” said the stranger beside me. LOL- was he in my head or what? Oh…and I wasn’t sitting in my seat. A group of teenagers decided the numbers didn’t matter. And I agreed, just let me slide past y’all to that empty seat. Seat “13” ain’t that important.
Huge crowd, little of a wait, anticipation is building and then Ed hits the stage. Almost everything else from that moment was like an out-of-body experience. Okay, I’m exaggerating. It was just great, so awesome and amazing, and spiritual yes spiritual that I can’t even fully dissect what happened. So I’ll break into a top ten list for you.
- Its worth the wait. The money, the sweat, the frustration, the uncertainty, and even going alone was TOTALLY worth the experience. No regrets. None.
- God speaks. In a crowded stadium with secular music surrounded by strangers and I still felt His presence and heard his voice. I thought to myself, what if this were a Christian artist? What if Ed were saved? What if he had command of this audience and knew that what they really needed wasn’t a great concert, but a great Encounter with God? Amazing! God can. He speaks AND He can.
- People connect. The guy to my right was middle-aged and married, there with his wife filming the entire concert. He was friendly and attentive. I know this and we exchanged 6-10 words. I felt a connection. The guy to my left was a teenager (probably in seat 13…no it was most likely 11- he’s alright in my book) and he was calm, had a beautiful voice and relaxed into each groove. We communicated the entire show. We said not one word to one another. What an amazing God that He was allow us the privilege of connection. I don’t know what I gave them by being there I just believe that as much as I felt their presence they felt mine.
- It doesn’t always make sense. I do the same thing every Thursday night. I’m in the same place, doing the same thing. Through discipline and excitement and this Thursday I chose a new path. I like routine, I like follow through, I like commitment, I like showing up. I do the same thing every Thursday. I’m in the same place doing the same thing. And this Thursday, I chose to be lead to a new place, for a new experience. God’s will this Thursday I will go back to the routine. I’ll go back to the same place in not the same way.
- Ask for it. After the concert, I wanted a fan. The free ones they passed out for the folks who printed tickets or had them pulled up on their phones before entering the building. Or how about just for the folks who showed up on time. There are benefits to being prepared (also known as early). Anyway, its September, my birthday month. MY BIRTHDAY MONTH- as if no one else was born in this month. I just get a certain way about the 9th month of the year. Its mine. I can do what I want, have what I want. I choose to be excited and happy and get all the gifts – tangible and intangible, that I want! So, I wanted a free Ed fan. Would have been nice during the concert, but I didn’t really care that it was 1030pm and everyone was going home. I wanted a FREE Ed fan…so after asking two staff members, I decided to go looking for one. Not everyone at this concert with a fan was going to find it valuable, so if I didn’t find a discarded one, I’d ask “do you want to keep that”? Didn’t work the first time, but second times a charm! She didn’t say no at first. But because I continued looking around and chatting with her, I guess Alexis decided it is more blessed to give than to receive. Got my fan, said my thank you, and moseyed to my car. Just ask for it.
- One man can do a lot. The concert was a one-man show. Ed uses some amazing machine to loop sound, which then creates beauty in sound form. He is so creative. I know he practiced and prepared but some of that awesomeness was spontaneous. And I don’t know if Ed knows it because he didn’t say it. And he talked to us a bit. But I know his talent and his gift comes from God. How he uses it…well that choice comes from God too. Undeniably he is gifted and talented and handsome (hahahah!). One man brought together an estimated 7,500 people with energy that moved us to harmonize and sway and clap and scream. He is one man. And he’s a young man. And he is ONE man. One man can do a lot.
- Okay, not a top ten. I’m stopping at seven. Favorite number, its my birthday month so this is acceptable. There’s always a story to tell. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, WordPress, twitter, Snap Chat. Got it- we have mediums to tell our stories. Not every story is to tell. Yet, there is ALWAYS a story to tell. God gives us these experience and we know from point 2 that He speaks. When He speaks, when God speaks it is to heard, it is so that we may listen and obey. There is always a story to tell. I knew 45 minutes into the concert I would want to share about this experience. Yet I also understood that a dead phone limited my sharing options at the moment. So I was forced, in a sense, or even gifted the opportunity, in a more precise sense, to be in the moment, to enjoy the journey and to FEEL ALIVE.