Being a girl and playing the drums is not usual. For a girl to be part of a band, my journey was not easy. I was constantly intimidated by men because of how they played and looked at me. I also think that men have more flexibility and swiftness in playing an instrument that deals with the tempo and beat of a song. Despite this, I love how to play the drums because it requires both skill and heart.

When I started in the worship team at church, I was there because I knew how to play. I didn’t really understand why God gave me the talent to play. I shed so many tears while trying to improve on my instrument, but it was at church where I learned how to play by heart. There were so many people who tried to change my technique, but that didn’t stop me from making the instrument my own.

Through the years that I played, the drums became my reminder of why I am in this world. It is to give praise to God. God says in Psalm 150:6: “Let everything that has breath praise Him.” I believe that this is not just through words, or through singing or through playing an instrument, but through everything and everyone.

At first I didn’t understand the meaning of praise. I thought that by being in the praise and worship ministry, I fulfilled at least 90% of serving God and loving Him. At least I understood the serving part. I was in a ministry that ushered people into worship every Sunday through singing and dancing. But I was always crying. I started asking God why He created me to understand how to play this instrument, and why– even though I thought I was good at playing it—my playing never satisfied the ears of the people around me. It was always, “I can do better and I can play better.” But then, when I was 16 years old, I told myself that when I turned 19, I would be better. My 19th year was a breakthrough for me. A friend invited me to join his band to play for them and to join the Battle of the Bands in our school. Little did I know that this was the start of a journey that would change me. I started playing differently because being in a contest required being diverse. To our surprise, we won that year and got to represent my school.

 We didn’t win the championship that year, and in the following years that we joined the contest, but beyond the great riffs of guitars, control in the melody, and the pounding of the drums, God taught me how to use the drums as an expression of my love for Him. Since I committed myself to play better, I promised myself that every time I played, I would give my best for God. Now, every time I play on a Sunday, I surrender everything to Him. The drums has become my expression of praise and worship to God. It has made me more in love with Him, especially since I can use this talent of mine in sharing His love and in influencing others to praise Him.

God has taught me the beauty of praising Him. With every opportunity I have in playing the drums, I am reminded that God placed me here on earth not just to play, but also to show people what God does in our lives through praise. Being in a worship team not only requires skill. It also requires the heart of a servant. Because you are serving the Most High God, you also learn how to serve His people. During my trainings when I was younger, my leaders often told me and the rest of the worship team that we should have the skill in playing because it defined how serious we were in learning how to worship Jesus. At first, I thought that being just an average player would show them that I was serious in playing and in serving God. But some-one told me that I was serving the Lord of Lords, the High God, the Creator of the universe, the King! So why should I give just an average performance?

It took me long years to learn how to be a servant, while still being skilled. It took me a lot of guts to humble myself in front of God and to give Him the highest honor and praise. I will never be able to give or say how much I love praising Jesus, or how much playing in church has made my life so different from who I was before.

I can’t thank God enough that He has given me this talent to share to others how good He is and how wonderful He is in bestowing such talents to His children. Every drum that I play witnesses this. When I play for Him, I give Him my all for I know that He listens and smiles when He sees me.

We should not let any endeavor stop us from praising God in any way possible. He created us. Let us praise Him forever.

By Aiah Tudio