Imagine you’re standing in the middle of a room. This room is filled with gold and silver. Each piece of gold and silver represents a piece of your life. Little bits and pieces of the days that have gone by. Some of those days are filled with great memories. Some of them are filled with pain. But each day is perfect by itself. Even the bad days. Because the bad days are the ones where you were forced to grow. On the bad days, you were forced to choose between staying in that pain or moving forward by letting go and learning.
I’ve had my share of good days and bad days. I’ve seen dreams push themselves up to the surface only to crash and burn. They were important enough to me at the time of their conception. Things that I thought were so monumental to my happiness.
I wanted to be a great songwriter. I wanted to be like my heroes in the music business. My heroes were musicians like Lennon/McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel, and the great female singer-songwriters of the 70’s Carly Simon, Carol King, Stevie Nicks, and Joni Mitchell. I would study their songs and try my best to write something that sounded like them.
I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to try to absorb some of that greatness that seemed to be in the air of these entertainment Mecca’s. It didn’t matter that I didn’t care for country music. I wanted to get my foot in the door anywhere I could to accomplish my dream. I rubbed elbows with some of the country royalty of that day like Dottie West, Crystal Gayle, and Loretta Lynn, by osmosis through my roommates. They were either closely related or worked for them. In the end, it didn’t move me forward towards what I wanted. Or what I thought I wanted.
What I wanted was to be known. I wanted to be loved. Just like we all do. Only I was confusing praise, approval, and acclaim for intimacy. I was really empty inside and I was trying to fill up that void by trying to be someone. I had it in my head that in order to have a purpose you had to be some kind of celebrity. Celebrities were rich, successful, desired, and well … Celebrated.
Without taking too much time to tell my story here, I’ll just say that I spent a good 10 year period chasing that dream. I had a lot of fun, worked out some performing insecurities during a brief but almost permanent departure into acting, and slowly began to get more and more discontent with the whole world of the entertainment business. Instead of getting a sense of satisfaction from it, I discovered that it was like a dog chasing his tail. Around and around and around, trying to get to the top of something. What was I doing it for? To be somebody? Yeah sure. I had natural gifts that drew me to that industry, but when I got honest, it was the need for affirmation that drove me. But, what could a person like me do with all of my creative gifts? The entertainment industry looked like the only place for me … until … God turned me around 180º.
Seems he had a plan for my gifts all along. I couldn’t see it but he knew the day would come when he would be able to tap into all of the creative gifts that he gave me. My creativity has simply tripled in size since my entertainment days because of him! I discovered that I love helping people find their own connection with God. I love showing the world how amazing and beautiful he is.
So, fast forward to the present day. I gave all of my heart, my dreams, and my emptiness to God. Because he showed me that he had another plan for me. To be a rock star, or a celebrity was a fine thing for some people. But he had a different plan for me. He wanted me to take all of those skills I learned to create music for my own purposes and use them for his purpose. He showed me that the void inside of me was empty because he was not in it. After he filled me will more love than I could ever understand on this earth, all of my desires to be filled with praise and acclaim were gone.
I’ve seen the open door of heaven open over so many different meetings and gatherings that God has allowed me to participate in. Let me tell you, it crushes over anything that the entertainment world has to offer.
But perhaps even more importantly than all of that, it’s YOU, the listener, that makes all of it matter.
I look forward to many more beautiful songs, stories, and meditations along this creative journey. Here’s to hoping that you are part of that journey.