Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Too Big a Task for Me

I had some good times on American Idol, but it wasn't all positive.  There were some difficult and emotionally draining aspects as well.  And while I am extremely grateful for the exposure it offered me, you have to admit that American Idol is not the most flattering stage - no matter who you are.  Think about it...  You're singing songs you barely know with basically no monitors so you can be scrutinized by millions of people.  You are terrified and everyone knows it.  And I don't care if you're Kelly, Carry, Chris, or Phil - EVERYONE has at least one bad performance on American Idol.  EVERYONE!

I felt like God had given me a task that was too big for me.

Now, my dad is a preacher.  As most kids do, I learned to block out dad's speaking voice when I was very young.  So he was forced to find new and inventive ways of preaching to me.  I'll never the lesson I learned from him about taking on a task that is too big.

I was 16 when I got a job as a server at Village Inn.  I started working there because all my buddies did, but I was terrible at it.  One Tuesday night, when the restaurant was fairly empty, my friends thought it would be funny to quit and just leave the place abandoned.  I watched as one by one, they fled for their cars, leaving one cook, a hostess, and me to take care of the restaurant by ourselves...

At first it was fine, because no one was there.  But little did we know that there was an Amway convention in town that had been let out.  Within 20 minutes, our store was filled to capacity with a wait in the lobby.

When I saw all those cars pulling into the lot, I called my dad to ask for permission to quit.  There was a pause on the phone before finally, dad said, "Well son, do you want to be a boy, or do you want to be a man?"

I said, "Uh, I dunno...  What do you want me to do?"

"Son, I want you to do what you have committed yourself to do."

I felt like the job was too big for me; that I would screw it all up.  But I submitted my will to my father's.  I jumped on top of the host station and screamed to the top of my lungs, "Welcome to Village Inn!"  Everyone cheered in excitement.  I was fortunate to have a very motivated group of people.  I said, "We are so excited that you decided to join us tonight, but I am your only server.  I will take care of you if you will be patient with me.  Is that a deal?"  Everyone screamed in approval.

This is the best part.  About two minutes later, as I was scurrying from booth to booth trying to get drink orders, the front door opened.  It was my dad.  He walked up to me and asked, "how can I help."

You see, just like my dad, if our heavenly father gives us a task, not only will He equip us with the tools we need to complete that task, but He will also go before us.  He will never leave us high and dry.  He'll be there to help us every step of the way.

I remembered that lesson throughout that season of American Idol.  And in the midst of that enormous task, I never felt alone.  I knew my heavenly father was with me.

Oh - and I made a killing that night in tips.  And a couple months later, I was promoted and given assistant manager responsibilities.  I prospered.  All because I submitted my will to my fathers.

If this story has blessed you, feel free to email your friends with the link


  1. That was wonderful! I admire you for sticking with the task at hand, I sometimes have that problem :)

  2. Wow. You've got a great dad...both of them, the earthly and the Heavenly ones. I know about the heavenly one because He's my dad too :). I'm very thankful you stuck with that job so many years ago, so we could all be blessed by you on American Idol.

    Thanks for this blog, Phil. I needed it.

  3. What a tremendous story and how touching that your dad showed up to help. He must have known that you were going to take care of the task at hand and could use his help. Thanks Phil ~ bless you ~ Paulette

  4. Phil, I got tears reading this. Your dad is such a model of the Heavenly Father. How awesome of him to come help. My hubby and 2 oldest sons would have most likely come and help, too. They have been left high and dry, too, at times, with tasks that seemed impossible. Glad you stuck with it, because it sure paid off in the end.:-). And we got to enjoy you on Idol, and now, because of it.

  5. Wonderful story, my friend. Ever since I met you, I knew that God has something special for you. He is bringing it all to pass.

  6. Brother Phil, Thanks for a great reminder of who is in control.

  7. That's a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it.

  8. Great post Phil. Thanks for sharing.

    Scott Herrold
    SOS Radio
    Las Vegas

  9. Great story - critical lesson for us all - God is sufficient our help in time of need.

  10. Great story, Phil, that is an example of one of life's defining moments.

  11. i absolutely love this! thank you, thank you!
    im adding you to my blog roooooll, & promoting your blog on Twitter.
    it has definitely blessed me as i know it will many others. :)

    God bless!

  12. Thank you for posting this! It couldn't have come at a better time!

    Grace & peace,

  13. Awe....this one should have had a *Kleenex Warning* attached...*sniffles*....
    What an amazing story and I love how you compared it to the love our Heavenly Father has for us....if we are just willing to serve Him, He is right there beside us helping us along the way!

  14. Awesome story! I love this, thanks for sharing