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Following the Graph
by Darrell Frizzel


     As we travel across the country we get to see all sorts of services, churches 
and singings in general. It’s often difficult to determine how any service or 
concert setting you attend will work out. It’s even harder to predict how 
Spiritual the service will or will not be. If only there was a way to predict the 
type of service you were about to attend, then you’d have something.

     Many years ago we noticed a small crack that appeared in the side window 
of the bus. Not thinking much of it, we continued on, fulfilling our bookings 
and traveling for the Lord. As one might expect, some of the services were 
great, some fine, others lacking. One day someone made the observation as the 
crack in the window began to grow that it looked like a graph on a 

    It had started in the bottom right corner of the window and had begun to 
climb in a zagging pattern up and to the left. We began to notice however, that 
when the crack was going up, we would have truly wonderful services. If the 
crack was going straight across, the service was standard in nature. Likewise, 
when the crack began to go downward, the service was less than desirable. It 
actually did seem to predict the Spirituality of the services! Did we finally 
discover that elusive service predictor? It got the point that it was becoming 
so accurate, that it became a running joke to “consult the crack” when arriving 
at any given booking to see what kind of service we should expect.

     One particular weekend we had booked a difficult schedule, spreading 
ourselves entirely too thin trying to fulfill three singing dates in three days. 
Starting on a Friday night we had been performing nonstop and had finally 
approached the last service of the weekend. It was a Sunday evening and with 
five shows behind us, needless to say we were exhausted. In fact, we were not 
only tired of traveling; we were tired of each other and being on the road in 
general. We had just finished a two and a half hour drive to arrive at this last 
location. When we pulled up …our jaws dropped. The church was on a hill 
just off the main road and there was no way to get our bus up to the building. 

In fact, there was no drive leading to the church door at all. Parking was 
across the road where members and visitors would cross the road, 
walk up a long set of steps built within a rock retaining wall, proceed up a 
sidewalk to a second set of smaller steps leading into the church itself. 
Dragging and glazed, we made our way through these obstacles and up to the 
church doors, only to find them locked and with no one around. What’s this?
Because of our travel time, we were running behind and the service was to 
begin within an hour. Shouldn’t someone be here by now? Could it be that 
we were at the wrong place? Was there a way around this after all?

Back then, the group was larger and younger so we shouldn’t have been so 
grumpy about it, but the mere thought of lugging all our equipment across 
that road, up those rock steps in the wall, up the sidewalk and up the church 
steps, and then to set it all up was more than we could stand the thought of. 
Especially after the run we had already had this particular weekend. Notice 
the key word in all this was “up!” Everything was uphill to load in. Not to 
mention the fact that back then, we had much, MUCH more equipment and it 
was built (as everything was back then) bigger and heavier than anything you 
see today. With a three-hour trip home ahead of us, talk began to turn toward 
getting back on the bus and heading home. Almost everyone was in agreement,
we could be most of the way home by the time the service was over and no 
one would even know we were there. There were nine of us then, so it was 
easy when an idea started to gain traction, to rally the troops and have 
everyone on board in a very short period of time. Especially when you are as 
tired as we were then. But there was one or two of the guys who resisted the
temptation to go home to bed, and they reminded everyone of the obligation 
we had as servants of God and to the church who was expecting us. Someone 
in turn noted that the crack in the window was pointing straight up which 
added some much needed hope. With all these factors in mind, we decided to 
suck it up, start unloading and begin the daunting task of dragging all our 
gear through the labyrinth of obstacles that awaited us.

And the rest of the story will be continued next month.  So 'til then, be blessed.


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