…in case you were wondering.

A Bit Of Honesty
May 17, 2007, 12:52 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know where dissatisfaction comes from. I don’t know why people with seemingly fulfilled lives feel the need to want more. And I don’t know why I do that same thing.

First of all I, in no way intend for this post to be a “look at me” post. It’s just me being honest with a few hundred people. I also, in no way, intend for this post to down play anything that is going on in my life and come across as a pity party for me. I love the position that I am in and wouldn’t change a thing.

Just over two years ago I was working as a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in Sacramento, California. I hated every minute of it. I would go to work for ten hours a day listen to the lowest members of society complain about stupid situations that they had gotten themselves into by purchasing drugs from a guy they couldn’t trust, or stealing a car and now the owner was at their door with a gun… and the stories went on. Looking around the room, I knew that before long I was going to become the callused, angry person and needed to get out. I came home, told my wife we needed to move and I didn’t care where.

We chose Portland, Oregon. We found a house, packed our things, and were two weeks away from moving when I got a call from a friend that asked if I would be interested in going on a tour as Assistant Tour Manager for a band called Third Day. It wouldn’t necessarily require moving to Nashville, but would make the time home longer so my wife and I decided to head East.

I had no idea what to expect moving across the country, but I figured this was where God was calling us. Besides, there are worse jobs in the world, and most likely I have had them, but that is another post altogether. I finished the tour and started asking God if this was all he had for me. I wanted more, and was frustrated with the feeling that I wasn’t able to do what I was passionate about. Playing music. When we left California, I was playing weekly in my church, and other times during the week with amazing musicians and really growing musically. For nearly three months I never touched a guitar, other than to move it out of my bunk on the bus.

After the Third Day tour I was asked to help out selling merchandise at festivals for another band called Audio Adrenaline. I drove a van all over the country selling t-shirts to kids, and cultivating relationships with other industry folks. I made a bunch of friends and connected with some people with opportunities for the future. Another two months without a guitar.

As soon as the summer ended I got a call from a friend of mine asking if I would be interested in helping out on another tour with a band called MercyMe. I would be doing the same administrative things that I did on the other tour, but would have a little experience under my belt and hopefully figure out what I wanted to do as a career in this industry. The MercyMe tour was great. I made several other friends and contacts, and loved working with the people in their camp, but knew the time would come where I would, again, want more. And yet another three months with no guitar.

Toward the end of that tour Shaun asked me about coming on with him as his road manager. Our wives were friends and Shaun and I hung out in the cul-de-sac, so I knew it would be a good fit. We started in January and haven’t looked back. These last few months I truly believe that there has been an awakening in me to real poverty in the world, and the importance of dedicating our lives as Christians to ridding the world of evil, sickness, hunger and death. There have been few moments in my life where I have learned so much valuable information in such a short time. Shaun and I are a great fit and things are going well, but creeping inside me is still this passion to play music.

I know there are plenty of people who come to Nashville with big dreams and are eventually beaten down and spit out. People that are far better than me at music. People with real talent. I have seen them. I have hung out with them. And I have listened to their stories. I don’t believe I came to Nashville to do any of that.

This afternoon I was talking to Shaun about why God puts desires and passions inside of us, and why some things are easy to attain and others take unbelievable amounts of work. Shaun can sit down and write an amazing piano piece and melody on a dare about a flea market, but his passion is somewhere else. I can take a four-year old digital point and shoot camera and click pictures that people want to buy for some reason, but my passion is somewhere else.

I brought our conversation home and started talking to my wife about why desires are in us even if they seem like they are only there to frustrate us. I love all the things I have been able to do in the past two years. I love all the people I have been able to meet and now call friends. I love that today I was able to sit down and have lunch with someone who’s music I have listened to for years and respect. But there is still a desire that I feel needs to be fulfilled, and that drives me crazy.

My wife had some interesting insight and honestly spurred me into writing this unbelievably long post. She asked me if I thought the desire was there because that was my way of worshiping God. Not the music itself but the offering that it becomes. She has always wanted to become a nurse and go to third world countries to help people. That is her desire, and she feels close to God when she is doing that. She asked me if playing music was my way of getting close to God. He gave me that desire and even though I have been blessed with having a pretty cool job, in an industry that most end up hating, it will not fulfill the desire to be close to him through playing music.

It won’t matter how many cool places I go, or cool people I meet, or amazing jobs that I have. My desire is to be close to God, whether that is in my bonus room or on a stage. That perspective shift, to me, is as important as the desire itself. It gives me a whole new look on the dissatisfaction of living. I may always be dissatisfied with the amount of time I get to play music, but at least I can look at it as a gift from God, and my continuous scratching to get closer to him.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I hear you buddy.

Pondered upon this plenty I have as well.

I think you should pursue your passion. You have to imagine that you don’t know all of those talented musicians, as far as comparison and start living it.

I agree with Kristen and think that God is all anybody really wants and REALLY needs but I don’t believe that he puts passions in us to torture us.

They are usually things that come quite naturally to us. I imagine that music comes quite naturally to you. Now it might come MORE naturally to someone else but guess what? It ALWAYS does. There is ALWAYS someone better so if you don’t put your neck out there and play, you’ll never live in that moment because of a fear of rejection.

I would say that when you think about that passion there is some healthy checking you can do. One questions you can ask yourself: 1. Am I seeking the recognition that comes with music rockstardom? If “no” and you just really want to play then I would say you are free and clear.

The problem that anyone with a passion or dream faces is comparison and fear. Fear that you won’t be good enough or as good as someone else. After all, there is more to risk when you are doing the thing that you REALLY love.

I say, get in there. Do what you love to do and what you are passionate about. You only live once and the older I get the more I FEEEEEL that old saying. I do know that passions and dreams can change if you are seeking Him first. God is always changing and moving in us. Which is AWESOME and a relief. It is hard to go wrong when you are delighting in the Lord. Because when you are, you can pretty much bet that He is putting those desires in your heart, and He is putting them there for a reason.

I would say, that fear and comparison are the only things stopping you at this point.

That’s my 2 cents about that.

Hope it helped.

Comment by Seth Ward

Thank you for posting this. And for your honesty.

I think this is my favorite post of yours

I could say a million things right now about it, but I won’t. Just that God teaches me this lesson over and over. That there’s a balance between fulfilling the dreams inside of us, but not worshipping them. That the fulfillment we’re always seeking is God.

Comment by FancyPants

I want to just make something clear from my comment:

I don’t think that wanting to fulfill your dream is wrong. I think it’s natural and good. And I think you should go for it!, in whatever capacity you’d like.

I just get you on your last paragraph there. If we’re not finding safisfaction and peace in God, we’re always left with wanting more, no matter what we get or do or where we go.

It’s keeping this in mind when we pursue our dreams that keeps us grounded and sane and happy.

Comment by FancyPants

This is very interesting, Brody. When I lived in California before moving to Nashville, I also played music (drums, not guitar) at my church. In the interest of full disclosure, I also played drums in a very non-church band (oh, the horror!). I have not removed my drums from the moving boxes since I’ve been here.

My wife says I drive her nuts with the nervous drumming-on-random-stuff habit I have when I’m not playing my drums. It’s inside me, and probably wants to get out. For me, I’m not so sure that music has anything to do with getting closer to God, but it is a skill and talent He has given me. I do wonder if I should be using it to serve Him somehow.

Some people are very critical of the idea of having some sort of special talent that is not really being used for anything. It’s like wasting potential, and keeping something inside that should shine for others to see.

Other people seem to take the opposite approach, and suggest that it might be an idol in my life that should be sacrificed for the greater good, meaning giving up something I enjoy in order to use my time serving the Lord in other ways.

For now, I’m just too busy with other things in my life — things that are for the good of other people I love. I’m very content with this, and yet do expect that at some point in the future, the musical talents and abilities the Lord has given me might come in handy. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

I genuinely admire the stuff you and Shaun are doing for Compassion International. I love my Compassion kids, and love that so many lives are being changed — the lasting impact of what you guys are doing is truly immeasurable. Life situations change quickly, so I really hope you get to enjoy and appreciate the current season in your life. Who knows what the future holds?

Comment by Chaotic Hammer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: