The familiar strains of “Gonna Fly Now-Theme from Rocky” emanated from our home as I approached it, returning from high school. When I entered, my father was sitting on his lounge chair, listening to a recording of our high school jazz band.
“Hi Dad! Why are you listening to that record again?”
“Our neighbor, Jake, came by and he was asking about your playing, so I played him the record you recorded a few months ago.”
Jake was our neighbor and my father’s close friend. He also played guitar and we occasionally played together, although he was a more talented player. I was the lead guitar in our high school’s jazz band and the guitar solo in this song was my showpiece. I cautiously asked, “What did he think?”
“He said you sounded nervous.”
I was. Although I had played that solo in numerous live performances, it was the first time I was in a recording studio. With headphones on and surrounded by microphones, I was intimidated. I could not relax. My fingers were tight and did not have the usual nimbleness. Unfortunately, after many takes, we settled on this solo which, to my chagrin, still betrayed my nervousness.
Performance anxiety. There are many activities which we have successfully completed in the past. However, when the circumstances change, we may become flustered. Even familiar routines may be flubbed. Anxiety is inevitable. A musical recital. Speaking before a crowd. A job interview. Taking an examination. How can God help us through these challenging events?
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
Psalms 94:19 (NASB)
God created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. Do not focus on the circumstances within but look outward and upward to God. Whatever the reason we perceive is the cause of our immediate anxiety, God is always seeking to comfort us. Which is more important, worrying about the present or delighting in God?
Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psalms 37:4-5 (NASB)
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.