At the ripe old age of thirteen, my life was forever changed.
In March of that year I came face to face with Jesus Christ, and I surrendered my heart to the call of Holy Spirit I heard whispered on the wind.
That summer I began to play guitar. In my heart and mind, those two events will forever be inexorably linked.
I had a challenging childhood, due in part to some physical challenges, as well as being the youngest of seven kids! It was a household less than religious, much less Christian…an incubator of a strange spirituality. In other words, your typical 60’s family with kids immersed in the counterculture.
Always introspective and typically alone (even in a full house), I loved to read and draw…anything that would energize my imagination and creativity. Music was around, but I never thought I’d play. I just had no interest…
But then came that day when I met Christ. Even then I felt a call to ‘do something’ even though I had no clue as to what I was being called to do!
I shared a room with my older brother who played guitar. He used to drive me crazy jamming until the wee hours (even then I loved my sleep).
I remember distinctly the afternoon when my brother had gone somewhere but left his Alvarez 12-string acoustic guitar laying on his bed. For reasons I can’t remember, I went over and gingerly picked up this beautiful instrument. I knew nothing about guitars…but when my finger brushed the open strings, the sound made my heart leap with what I know now to be joy.
It was a kind of magic.
That was almost 40 years ago…a few million notes and chords have gone by. Today I make my living playing music. My career has been full of crazy twists and turns, and there aren’t enough hours for the stories I could tell.
It’s very late at night as I compose this post, after a day full of recording. It’s certainly fun but people would be surprised just how hard this job can be. There is a feeling of satisfaction hearing music being built, knowing it will reach people I’ll most likely never meet.
As fun as my work is, I live for those moments when this gift of music brings me the joy I experienced when my fingers first drew sound from an instrument.
How can I describe this…this rapturous moment when lyric and melody and chords and rhythm combine to make the miracle of music..? There literally is nothing else like it.
It’s the sound of joy…a kind of magic.
Even after almost 40 years of music, there are so many things yet undone. So many songs to write, riffs to learn, and places yet to play…
I’ll never stop. I’ll never give up, even if no one values what I do or cares to hear my melody. Because the Giver of Gifts gives them with purpose…and He desires to hear the music placed in my heart.
“But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.”
(Psalm 59:16 ESV)