I Am Compelled

Our audio coach, Tony Guyer, bring us this Fertilizer.

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NKJV) 

Often, while training audio teams, I am in a position to interact with what I have come to refer to as Sound Janitors. A Sound Janitor shows up before the musicians and flips the switch. They power on the system and make sure the volume knob is still at the Sharpie mark. Then they get their donut and coffee.

Now there is nothing necessarily wrong with being a Sound Janitor. I started my career in sound operation as a Sound Janitor. It was fine when we only had a pastor’s mic and the organ, but as we add acoustic and electric instruments, the need for appropriate balancing became more apparent. 

I am faced with the task of figuring out how to encourage your average sound curmudgeon to move beyond being a Sound Janitor to serve purposefully. So as I am approaching this, I can’t help but ask myself, why? Why would I move beyond being the Sound Janitor? Why should I care? Why did I care? 

As I was reflecting on these questions, the word that came to my mind was compelled. I am compelled to solve problems, to serve the listeners, the lovers of music, the worshippers. And dare I be so bold as to say I am compelled to bring an offering to the God who made the nose of an elephant and the mystifying magic of Spanish moss, the God who created the science of sound waves, pitch, and timbre I so love to wrestle with. 

Merriam-Webster defines compel as to drive or force irresistibly. The Bible speaks of the love of Christ compelling us, not in the dictatorial sense of forced servitude, but in an overwhelming sense of, “What else could I do but do this?”

I am drawn to love and serve. Like a powerful magnet, I am pulled into caring and into losing sleep over how to solve audio problems, or how to make music sound like the music that has affected me, and caused the hairs on my arm to stand up. I lose sleep because of who God is and how He loves us. I lose sleep because of who God is and how he created breathtaking art all around us. 

A synonym for “compel” is “constrain,” which reminds me of one of my daughter’s favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fount.” In the fourth verse, you will find these words:

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, LORD, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above

Because of God’s grace, I’m constrained. I’m compelled. Constrained to what?

Constrained to complain? 

Constrained to demand that the other sound operators do things my way?

I love how the hymn writer says, Let THY goodness - God’s goodness - like a rope, tie my wandering heart to God. He knew he was prone to wander. He knew he was given to have his feelings hurt when someone didn’t agree with him or criticized him. He cries out to God to seal his heart for a higher purpose than what he would usually choose.

So what compels you? Why do you wake up early on a Sunday? Why do you go to a rehearsal after a long, stressful day of work? Why do you put up with music you don’t prefer?

Why do you never stop trying to balance sounds and make them sound like music?

What compels YOU?


ps. This could be a fantastic time to sharpen your team's audio skills. Find out how we can support you in this by clicking here.