The 12-Year-Long Moment With Steven Curtis Chapman

Twelve years ago, my wife got us tickets to Steven Curtis Chapman's Songs And Stories Tour with Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester, MN.  My young sons at the time, ages eight, six, and four, were also so impressed with Steven's music that they wanted to write Steven thank-you notes and they gave those notes to me to deliver to him.

I love my kids.  I really wanted to do this for them, but how was I ever going to do it?

After the concert, Steven went backstage and we never saw him again that night.  If I mailed these notes out - where would I send them?  How would I know if they ever got into Steve's hand?  How was I ever going to get these notes to him and fulfill my promise?

[Now that I think about it, I could have given the notes to Andrew (who we did meet that night) and he could have given them to Steven I suppose... Hindsight. (But then Andrew would be giving the notes to Steven - not their father, not me - the one who promised them.)]

At the time, I thought that this job was so important that I wanted to make sure it got done - that I put my children's notes directly into Steven's hands - myself.  (After all, my boys asked ME to deliver their notes to Steve and, not being able to say, “No,” to them, or explain there was probably no way I could ever come through for them, (and rather than lie to them and tell them I delivered them and then just thrown the notes away), I looked them in the eyes and promised I would.

A part of me also suggested that these tangible examples of my children's generous hearts were too precious to part with, so I should just keep these notes for myself.  That way, I could be reminded of their God-inspired, loving spirits... so I kept their notes myself and thought of them from time to time with equal parts admiration for my boys and for God at work in their lives, and disappointment in the circumstance and my selfishness that didn't allow me to deliver the notes as I promised.)

Fast-forward to today.  My wife got us Meet-and-Greet tickets to the Steven Curtis Chapman Still Tour concert tonight, again in Rochester, MN.  The thought came to me, I wonder if I could actually get a chance to deliver my kids' notes from all those years ago…, but I wasn't sure if we would get to be very near him, or have him sign anything, or even if I could deliver my children's notes (and on my promise to them), but everything about the evening was fine!

We got to meet Steven and shook his hand and he complimented us on our shirts.  As I briefly explained the story to him, I showed (and then handed him) my children's thank-you notes of encouragement to him.  Steven was, of course, generous with his time, and gracious - accepting the notes and placing them in his back pocket - and then posed with us in a family picture.  “Just” like that.

The moment is updated.  The promise is fulfilled.  I listened to that Voice in my head that created this opportunity and prompted me to ask, What about now?  Is now the time?

I think our hearts are better for this moment because all of us (my boys, my wife, Steven, and myself) were present at the fulfillment.  The story came full circle.  But perhaps the moment could linger Still...

I'm not sure what I feel about all this yet...  If I ever feel regret at not having the notes in my possession anymore, I take solace in the greater knowledge that the whole point of this 12-year-long moment was to deliver the notes, encourage Steven, bless the hearts of my children, and maybe even prove to myself that I do have what it takes to be a good parent - a good person - (or at least a better one).

The Good News is we can all make changes and, with God's help, opportunities might still yet arrive that will afford us the chance to live rightly, do justice, and walk humbly with our God - living in His light - walking in His Way.  How often do we get the chance (or make the chance) to do what is right?

Has an opportunity arrived and are you being prompted to make something right?  What in your life do you have the chance to make right today?

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