See, this is how it is: you start arranging things like "Lord, I Want To Be a Christian In My Heart," and He goes on and sets up situations that get you to deal with the question: "Are you SURE?"
Let me explain: Ten years ago I wrote a old-timey gospel song for my church's senior choir -- "Accepted in Jesus," which was a big hit to some and an eye-roller to others in high places. Now this is what I wrote, at least in the piano:
Big, energetic, bluesy -- it bounces right along in the old-time way. Nonetheless, it was my first church hit. Certain folks rolled their eyes for five years...
Then came regime change -- new pastor, new directors, and new assignments. I moved over to direct the children's choir, but still sang alto with the seniors to fill out the section. Meanwhile, energetic songs became the new order of the day, so guess whose song was "rediscovered" by the eye rollers? I limped into to senior choir rehearsal after five months of being out after snapping a whole muscle (a whole different story) to hear my own music being played -- sort of. But it was still recognizable, and always an honor to hear other people use your work, so I swallowed my pride, adjusted my alto line, and kept it moving.
Then came today. Everybody is in love with the song now, but that means everybody wants to put their spin on it. I was minding my own business when I saw the song sheets being handed out. I was then treated to what happens when a newish song falls out of rotation for a little while and THEN new arranging is made of what is sort of remembered.
My internal reaction:
I had two options, of course:
"STOP! Stop this travesty immediately! I did not write this song to have you people just mess it up in front of my face! Move off the piano -- let me teach this correctly or all of you sit down and shut up!"
"Well, Lord, they are doing the best they can. I wrote it for them ten years ago and age brings about a change. It would be cruel to embarrass them. The bad part is only a few seconds."
I was able to get through it. Like I said, that was just one of those "Are you SURE you are a Christian in your heart?" moments. Being a community composer and working with all age groups is NOT for those with big egos and little faith. You will find out when you least expect it if you know God by what God will NOT let you do to those who provoke you in the most intimate ways, and what His Spirit will empower you to do instead.