Yes, it’s Throwback Thursday! On social media this is the day where you get pics of folks from long ago…and that you really don’t want to see! Were I to post, for example, a photo of yours truly from the 80’s, you’d see a hair experiment gone horribly wrong. You are my friends (most of you, anyway), so I will spare you this tonsorial terror.
I will instead throwback to a time when I would actually write words that mean something only to me. You see, I tend to fall into the trap of writing, a) about issues that I think mean something to myself and others, or b) not write at all. While the first choice is not terrible, the second is inexcusable.
For years I was part of bands that tried our best to ‘make it’ in music. Meaning get a record deal. I have been fortunate to be in groups that actually possessed the necessary ingredients to get signed, etc. For whatever reason, God had other plans in mind.
Oh it wasn’t for a lack of trying to devise the right ‘product.’ We’d agonize over songs and style and production, paying close attention to what was hot and what we thought would trend. We really tried.
That was the problem. We tried to make it happen. What modicum of ‘success’ I’ve enjoyed as an artist and writer and producer has come only after following Master Yoda’s sage Jedi wisdom…
“Try? There is no try…”
When I released my oft-mentioned “Spheres of Influence” solo CD in 2004, I did so only after good and proper hounding by Holy Spirit, and many miracles and gifts from gifted friends. I made a record that I can actually still listen to without wincing or making excuses.
Simply put, I made music for me.
From the core of my being, I wrote and played and arranged and produced a record that if no one else liked at all, I would listen and be content.
Now you know musicians are never content. Once you have a taste of true musical freedom, you’ll never be content with less than this miracle rush.
I have said oftentimes that the saddest words I know are these; ‘I used to…’
I used to write to indulge my inner poet.
I used to write stories that mean nothing and everything.
I used to attempt to sing.
I used to play with fearless abandon.
These are my ‘used to’ things. Not what I think you or others that may read this used to do. We might actually share some of these. You could have others…I certainly do. Some things I am not yet ready to share in this forum. But that’s okay, because you have those things too.
I could go on, but there’s no need. You know your lists as do I mine. The important thing is that God knows them too…every single one.
So I’m throwing back to where God plants His giftings. I’m writing for me. I’m doing the whole ‘OneWord‘ deal this year, and I’ll be writing about that. But I’m making a vow to God and myself that I will try to cross off my ‘used to’ list.
Today, there is freedom.
Today, I can say I used to write ‘on task’ and not for the joy of writing. I know I won’t always be successful in this goal. But I will try. Some I will share…many I will not. There will be songs and stories and poems, joyous and sad and angry and fearful and awesome and feelings enormous and sublime.
They are mine. And today I give them all to You.
Father, I thank You for the gift of this Thursday, and all the days to come.