Last night Casting Crowns came to the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, MS with their traveling Christmas show. Along with Casting Crowns, the show also included Avalon, Natalie Grant, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, Michael English, and PureNRG Since today (December 9) is Teresa and I’s anniversary, and since Teresa is a HUGE Avalon fan, I bought us a couple of 12th row, floor tickets to celebrate.
So we get to our seats a few minutes before the show. We’re sitting on the end of the row and there’s this older gentleman sitting beside us. We start talking and he tells us his son is singing tonight. We ask who, and he says Greg Long. If you’re an Avalon fan (like Teresa) you go crazy because Greg and his wife, Janna, are in Avalon. Made Teresa’s night! Just before the show started, an older lady, a young lady, and two little girls walk up from the direction of the stage. Turns out they’re Greg’s mother, his nanny, and his two children. They all sit down and the show starts.
Great show! Not really a concert style show but a good mix of different groups at different times, kind of a variety show. While the show is going on, the nanny is concerned the kids are distracting us from the show. They’re not at all, but she’s concerned (I wish I remembered her name). She decides to take the kids to the bus for the night. Anyway, she asks me our names, saying she’d get Avalon to sign something for us, since it’s our anniversary. She leaves and comes back a few minutes later with backstage passes.
Meanwhile, we’re just really getting to know and enjoy Mr. and Mrs. Long. He’s an evangelist, from South Dakota, and just a blast to be with. The dude can sing, too. They’re a great couple, remind me of Mississippi country folks. Janna Long’s cousin and husband were also there and all just good people.
After the show, we walk with the Long family around the arena a few times trying to find back stage. Got there and meet everybody. I’m really impressed with all these Christian artists. Very personable. We met Michael English and had a good conversation with him, primarily about his hair. Of course we got the obligatory pictures. My daughter called me just as we were meeting PureNRG, a group of three very young teenagers. I gave the phone to them and they talked to Lauren for a while. Talked with Mark Hall of Crowns for a few minutes. Very cool.
The thing about all of this, I wasn’t really that interested in going to the show. But it was a big deal for Teresa to go, so I went. I believe God orchestrated all of the happenings last night. Not because He wanted us to meet some good, famous people, but because He wanted us to just enjoy the night. That’s how God is sometimes. We get caught up in our need to change the world for Him. We think we’ve got to be “on” all the time, always pushing forward and looking to take advantage of every single opportunity. But God delights in His children. He sometimes just wants them to enjoy life, no strings attached.
“The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” (Psalm 35:27, NIV).