If I have one regret about my time on American Idol, it is that I didn't sing some Elton John. If I have two regrets (and this is the real regret here) it's that there was more time to connect with a local body of believers while I was on the show.
On the show, we work 7 days a week, and our work days are never less that 7-8 hours and usually more around the 10-12 hour range. I didn't have a problem with that...I actually enjoyed it...for the first time as an adult I got paid to do something that I loved (music). But it didn't leave a lot of time for extra-curricular activities. The one activity that I would not call extra-curricular, but just didn't fit into the schedule was attending a local church. During my 8 weeks out in L.A. this time, I was only able to get to a church once, and that was visiting the mega church Saddleback, where Rick Warren is the pastor.
I can't explain the emotions I felt as I worshiped with 10,000 people in that auditorium that Sunday (the 2nd week of semi-finals before I sang "Trouble"). It was as if I was coming home so to speak. Worship music is so often so cheesy, and when you take part in it every single week, it can become monotonous and easy to take for granted. But that Sunday, I sang my lungs out and a feeling of refreshment washed over me. It was absolutely strange.
The message that Pastor Warren gave was so touching....the message of it didn't really touch me, since it was all about how to get sin out of your life, and literally my pastor back home had just done a series with the exact same points...but the heart of Pastor Warren coming through was incredible refreshing.
I came away from that service (after taking about 4,000 pictures with church members and after meeting Pastor Warren and receiving a bear hug from the man himself) recharged for the next few weeks.
Honestly, I can't wait till Easter Sunday...I'll be with my home church for the first time in 2 and a half months, and I know the refreshment will wash over me even more so than my time at Saddleback. Plus I get to see my friends again.
Boy, I can't wait!