Everyone loves a good story… I know I do. Early on my parents helped instill in me a love of reading, and from that love I learned pretty quickly how to tell stories (not always just for the entertainment value…lol). I guess it’s no surprise that after falling in love with music that I’d eventually try my hand at song writing. It’s storytelling set to music after all! Like any skill or talent, my early efforts were almost always terrible, despite what loving (and tone-deaf) parents would say. Even after 30+ years, some songs come more easily than others (and yes, some are still terrible…lol).
But every so often it happens that you find a melody and a turn of phrase that invokes a powerful reaction. The best of these moments occur when Holy Spirit breathes life into our feeble artistic and all-too-human creations. And far too infrequently you ‘discover’ a song, almost as if The Song was waiting there all along for you to finally unearth it… as if the Spirit led you to the ‘dig site.’
I’ve had that happen a couple of times in my song writing career thus far. These rarities are treasured all the more as I understand that it doesn’t usually work this way. And almost without exception one of the qualities of these songs is that they tell a story… a story both uniquely personal yet universal. The best compliment a song writer can receive is to be told that “… you wrote that song just for me.”
Which brings us full circle back to The Story. One of my favorite authors is John Eldredge (Wild at Heart, Waking the Dead, the Sacred Romance). A while back he published a short little book called Epic, a wonderful distillation of the themes discussed in Waking the Dead. In less than 100 pages or so he talks about how our best-loved stories are simply mirrors of a greater Story. And that by looking into what makes us love these tales, we can see the finger of God writing on our hearts.
Rather than give you my ‘book report’ version, go buy this book and check it out for yourself. See if you don’t get as excited as I am when you realize that through the arts God is telling The Story of his love for us and his longing for us to be reunited with Him. But better yet, each one of us has a chapter and a role to play in this incredible adventure.
Over the coming months I’ll be sharing with you our theme for Project Onefifty this year, one almost directly inspired by the ideas in Epic. Our goals and events haven’t changed… we’re still doing coffee houses, mission trips, concert events, CD projects and the like. But my prayer is that we’ll be telling our story more effectively (and often) and through this telling, The Story will be shared with people all around the world.
I’ll leave you with the ‘teaser’ for this theme:
God is waiting for you
Sounds ‘epic’ to me!! Let’s go!