Sunday, January 23, 2005

Backstage or Main Stage

Remember when you were a child and you used to beg to be able to run sound in your neighborhood productions? Or arrange all of the props? How about designing the set? Or, any number of other behind the scene tasks? What? That's not ringing a bell? Just like no one grows up wanting to be Vice-President, few of us grow up longing to perform backstage. It's all about the main stage, the lights, the applause and adoration. Except that it takes a great team to accomplish great things and not everyone can be front and center. No roadies, no show.

But giving up our shot isn't part of most people's makeup. We're born wanting things our way, on our terms. So how can we suppress this natural desire and support the team we're part of? Recognizing that we are part of something that's greater than ourselves is a good place to start. Accepting our role as a servant doesn't mean that we check out our ambition, it means we serve with excellence in whatever role we're currently in. Sound easy? It's not. But the end result always results in a better you. So the next concert you attend tell the sound guy he's doing a great job and watch the amazement that transforms his face. Tell a policeman the world's a better place because of how he/she is choosing to use his gifts. And the next day go thank a teacher. See, you're already becoming a giant in the world of grace.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Claws of Art

Most people would probably agree that music is a very unique art form. The mystery of music is the mystery of music. What other art form can impact you before you've even been born? For most people, music plays a huge part in their life. It can help you sleep, it can call you to play, it can drive you to dance, it can accelerate feelings of love, it can gently form emotions you never realized you possessed. How is that possible? How can music have such a direct link to our hearts and minds? What is it about music that can transform our lives?

Sometimes I've wondered why God didn't flag music with a warning label. I mean, you don't just turn someone lose with explosives and say "Show me what you can create with 40 lbs of TNT." Yet music can be far more impactful in forming opinions, even movements that can change the world. Where is the training class for artists that show them the implications of music on the mind, the heart, and the soul? Where is the preparation and care for how to handle something that possesses both light and darkness? That not only impacts the world, but can radically change you. How do you teach the importance of guarding your heart and mind through what you hear?

Friday, January 21, 2005

In The Beginning . . .

In the beginning there was nothingness. Suddenly, a bold stroke by the Master Painter forged something out of nothing. Something that would exist to this very day. Us. And just as we struggle with a lot of the same issues that plagued mankind thousands of years ago we also struggle for the same answers. Why this moment?  Why are we here? What is our purpose? What comes after this life? Is this it?

Why are we given this blank canvas each new day upon which we get to write our own unique story? What are we supposed to do that will have a real impact? What art are we expected to create while on this planet? Who are we supposed to help with their story? And why do we approach the mystery that is this life with such mundane expectations?

"Nothing is so deadening to the divine, as an habitual dealing with the outsides of holy things." George MacDonald