Thursday, August 5, 2010

God is Tryna Tell You Somethin' Miss Celie- Toya

I told Tia this story about my experience at the Soul Food Music Festival a few weeks back and she said I had to share it. I am going to try my very best to make it as short as possible so I can tell it in one shot. So many of us are waiting on things right now and because the inevitable wait does not always come with a shot of Super Patience, it's easy to get weary. It's also easy to start second guessing yourself about the thing or things you are waiting for. A few weeks back I got a lesson in waiting that I will never forget. I mean a good ol' custom made lesson. I hope it blesses you.

A few weeks back I went to the Soul Food Music Festival here in Nashville. Now most people that know me know that I am an old school R&B FIEND so I was beside myself when the lineup boasted Cameo, Jody Watley, Whodini, Glenn Jones and the one I was most excited to see, Tevin Campbell. I was delighted to know that I won a ticket although I don't quite remember entering to win anything. I talked about this thing for weeks and when the day came I was up early (for me anyway)...on a Saturday. Oh yeah, I was serious about this thing.

Brownie met me at the concert and I was there early enough to get the best seats in General Admission: smack dab in the center right behind VIP. I had pretty much guessed that Tevin Campbell would be next to last before Cameo. When Whodini went off Kenny Smoov, 92 Q's PD came on stage and said Tevin was running late and that Cameo, the closing act, was going to go in his place. I was immediately discouraged. "See? I knew it. Nothing ever turns out the way...." I thought and then I stopped myself. Truth was, I didn't know what the hold up was and I needed to remain calm. I didn't need to get upset about what I didn't know. What I did know was that the person in charge said that Tevin was coming. I've always known Kenny to be a man of his word. We have worked together before on some of my events so I trust Kenny. However, there were plenty of people there who haven't had the pleasure of getting to know Kenny as I have. Whether they cared to or not, there were signs that Kenny was in charge EVERYWHERE because everywhere you looked there were fans that had been passed out by 92Q staff with his face on it. There was no denying that what Kenny says, goes. His word was at stake. (I almost shouted right there. Like they say in church, walk with me yall. I’m goin’ somewhere with this. Somebody cue the organ.)

Cameo came on and rocked the house. Hearing "Candy" live was amazing (and so was the massive Electric Slide that broke out) but as they seemed to be lingering, I got really discouraged. I KNOW what Kenny said but it LOOKED like something else was going on. They let the DJ spin for what seemed to be forever and I wondered why Kenny hadn't said anything else from the stage. "I bet Tevin's not coming" I told Brownie. "Let's just start making it to the edge of the steps so when he finally announces it, we will have a head start and we'll roll out." For some reason however, we didn't quite make it to the exit. Looking back, I don't think we wanted to give up that easily. I looked at my phone and saw that Kenny sent out a message via Twitter that Tevin was coming but was running late. I showed the message to Brownie who is currently not on Twitter and didn't have the same access to the information that I did. We decided to stay. (I could preach right there on why it’s important to walk with like minded friends that are full of faith and not doubt and pessimism but I’ll let it go for brevity's sake.)

I retweeted the message that Kenny sent and to my surprise he kindly hit me back on Twitter stating that Tevin Campbell's flight had been delayed three times and that he was certain that he was on his way. I looked around and saw droves of people leaving. I even saw the same people who were standing in front of me in line leaving. Maybe they weren't on Twitter and didn't have the same info I did. Maybe they did, thought Kenny was full of it and decided to leave anyway. Maybe they were just simply tired of waiting. All I know is that Brownie and I had word from the man in charge and we were staying.


We started to walk back down to our seats when I suggested to Brownie that we rush down to the VIP area in when Tevin came on. "Why don't we just go down there now?" Brownie said. I was nervous about it because we didn't have the proper credentials so I didn't think that we had access. But as it turned out, because we had waited, we were free to go down to the VIP area with no problem (I tried to front like I was on the phone so I wouldn't make eye contact with security. Brownie was way to cool and confident for that and strolled on through.) When we made it to the front of the stage, there were only about three people there. I looked around and thought if this goes down the way it could really go down, if he indeed arrives like we hoped he would, we would already be in position. If this goes down the way that it looks like, this could turn out to be waaaaaaaaay better than what we expected all along! I looked up to the sky and said under my breath “Is this...is this about to...for real?” Brownie and I waited and waited for about another ten minutes. By this time it was 10:40 and I knew that we had until 11 before they had to shut everything down. The situation looked hopeless really. Most of the people had left and the stage hands had even packed everything up on the stage. Brownie nudged me to look to my right and that’s when we saw lights at the end of the road. It was a car making its way to the stage. I looked at the car. I looked at the stage. I looked at the car. I looked at the stage. Brownie then looked at me and said “They that wait, girl!”, referencing Isaiah 4:31. We laughed all over ourselves and squealed in excitement. With ten minutes left on the clock (*Bishop Walker voice* Touch your neighbor and say "Ten minutes left on the clock"), it was about to go down even better than we could have imagined.

Brownie and I walked to the front of the stage and waited. I held onto the railing and was practically under the stage while she stood back to get a wider view. I wanted to get as close as I could only because I COULD! There was no one in front of me, no one in the way for me to experience what I had been waiting for and what I was assured was going to get there. I could not believe what was really about to happen. I looked to the right of the stage and there was Tevin Campbell with a mic in his hand talking to Kenny Smoov. Kenny told everyone that waited around to make their way down to the front of the stage. Without further ado, Tevin Campbell came out and stood directly in front of me singing “I’m Ready”…and I turned into Ashley Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

I mean I jumped and squealed and sang my little heart out like I was 14 as soon as I was able to get my chin up off of the floor. The shock was not that I was two feet from Tevin Campbell. The shock was after all that waiting around after watching so many people give up and leave, what I waited for proved to be very much worth the wait; “Exceedingly an abundantly” (Ephesians 3:20)more worth the wait.

Tevin sang two songs because that was all he had time for. He ended at exactly 11 pm on the dot. Some people stayed around for autographs but Brownie and I were so content with how everything happened that we were good to go. Our waiting paid off and we were front row center and in perfect position to receive what Kenny assured us was coming. For me though this was the kicker: Kenny said that because so many people left because Tevin was late, he was going to ride him around to various clubs to meet the public so those that went out clubbin’ afterwards could get a chance to see him. This reminds me a lot about what I am learning about patience. Let’s say that we would’ve been on our way home when we heard that Tevin Campbell was going to be at Club Sensations. We would’ve had to make our way through downtown Saturday night traffic, pay to park for the second time that day, pay to get inside and hope to get peek of him and hear him sing. Yes, we would’ve seen him but it would’ve cost us more. I’m not saying that anyone was wrong to leave. I am just saying that it paid to stay.

The next morning I visited Mt. Zion Baptist Church with Brownie. We nudged and giggled all over each other in excitement, stood up and shouted when Bishop Walker preached on EXACTLY what we had learned the night before. That no matter what it looks like in the natural, no matter how many people you arrived with or got there before you jump ship, remember WHO is in charge and hold on to God's promises. Chances are things are going to turn out much better than what you anticipated.



Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.





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