With all the media talk over the last 12 months about some of our fave athletes cheating, in regards to medical enhanced performances, this got me thinking…..
Let me share my story…
Many years ago, we were gearing up for one of the most valuable conferences of the year. We had all been working hard, preparing and simply doing what needed to be done. I went to bed feeling, what I would call ‘interesting.. just not well’.. (you probably know the feeling!!). The next morning I kept pushing myself, but my body ached to the point of being unable to hold myself up, and then, what couldn’t happen at this point in time happened…. my voice went.
I can’t remember many times in my life, when I’ve truly been unable to sing due to illness…. Needless to say, this is something I found extremely FRUSTRATING.
I needed to sing, I needed my voice, so what did we do, where did we go? We got a doctor in to see me and I was prescribed antibiotics which were very needful. Also, for the first time in my life, a steroid was used to quickly kick my voice into gear. Kick it into gear, it did! I was SO thankful. The doctor gave me a five day dose and I was set. I knew and realized this was quite a common treatment, so I felt relieved.. and was back on the mend seemingly without missing a beat.
Life carried on and I sang at that conference and then countless times after that. I felt good and then it happened again…. About 12 months later, I found myself in a similair position. Off I went back to the doctor for the steroid, not the antibiotic.. just the steroid and again….. it kicked into gear quickly and I continued on, not thinking much about it.
Here’s the thing.. I was still attending speech therapy (my fave vocal training), but I really became slack with the discipline of REST, warm ups, cool downs, etc. All the things we need to apply for longevity but in the back of my mind I knew if I really needed to, I could grab the steroid and be OK.
After a while…. I began to feel challenged to my core about my own behaviour. How I was depending on medicine and not giving my body the Sabbath space it continually needed to regenerate – Gods perfect formula. In saying this, I am NOT anti-medication… BUT since I started speaking about this, I have heard of worship leaders who are often having their actual vocal folds INJECTED with all sorts of things. They are doing this in an effort to try to erase the pain they feel as they are required to sing morning noon and night without the necessary discipline of warming up, cooling down, and taking REST.
All these years later, and by going back to the basics and keeping vocal health one of my top physical priorities, I can sing and sing and sing.. with NO medical intervention!! Just plain old fashioned discipline and consistency.
So.. NO, we are not about to start drug testing our worship leaders.. BUT, I’m sure you all hear my heart when I say.. PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!! Rest, great food, the Word of God, sunshine, friends, and the disciplines of taking care of the gifts God has entrusted to us. It is RIDICULOUS to try to attain for a standard that God Himself is NOT asking you to attain. Its not about impressing or pleasing others, but serving and loving our great God, who only wants the best for you.