Lessons from a Teakettle

I happened onto an article about Glenn Frey (recently deceased legendary member of The Eagles) talking about his first encounters with Jackson Browne (legendary singer/songwriter).

Back in the day when both guys, along with other notable soon-to-be-legends like Don Henley and Linda Ronstadt, were starving musicians in L.A., Glenn “just happened” to move in right above Jackson.

Frey told the story of how he knew he needed and wanted to write songs but honestly had no idea how to go about the craft. At that time, he was a musician and singer but not yet a writer. He thought, “Do you just sit around and wait on the inspiration to fall or what?”

Glenn began to notice no matter how late Jackson might have been out gigging the night before, at 9:00 a.m. his teakettle would go off with its recognizable whistle. Soon after, he’d hear Jackson begin to play and sing some new song, working through the first verse and chorus 20 or more times, attempting to tweak and perfect it, to see if there was a better version.

Then he’d hear silence for a while. Then the whistle of the teakettle would sound again. And soon after, the song would once again start up.

Frey said he began to realize, listening through the floor of his apartment to Browne’s dedication, that great songs are borne out of commitment, time, persistence, and focused energy.

And then, as they say, “the rest is history.”

A few questions/thoughts …

Who might be listening to your life through the “floorboards” and what are they learning?

Who might “just happen” to live right around you and you really should be paying attention?

What passion of yours needs to hear the teakettle go off every day to summon your start?

What’s in your heart that its time to begin, committing to the passion of doing what you love?

All great work is borne out of commitment, time, persistence, and focused energy.

Today might not seem very “spiritual” on the surface, but encouragement to get after doing what God put you on the planet to do (love God) and also to pay attention to those He placed around you both to learn and to teach (love neighbor) is indeed quite practical to the Christ follower.

Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food; play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate. Committed and persistent work pays off. —Proverbs 28:19-20 MSG

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