Last week marked seven years since our family loaded up the truck and moved to the hills of Tennessee. (Cue Foggy Mountain Breakdown.) Seven years? So has it been seven years of plenty or famine? The answer is yes on both counts. Times of great blessing mixed with times of struggle and difficulty. But I’m betting you would say the same about yourself. Because its life, lived in a broken world.
One thing I can still say for certain, God had clearly spoken to me, telling me to leave twenty years of security and regular paychecks, crawl out onto the end of the limb and hand Him the saw. One of the things I am grateful for today is when I read those books or hear those speakers who talk about leaping out in faith or jumping into the pit with the lion, all that imagery, I know what that feels like. I’m grateful I won’t die wondering. I know because I know.
These past seven years, my wife and I have witnessed both of our sons graduate from college with no school loans, a commitment we made together as a family but everyone sacrificed equally. One of the many reasons of coming to Music City was because both sons wanted to pursue music. People often ask how does it work being a musician and moving from where there aren’t many to where there are thousands. Well, the shortest answer is the true creative community is not corporate but tribal. Cooperate, don’t compete. The ones that compete end up going back home to the corporate. This past Saturday night, our 28-year-old son played Madison Square Garden and now literally sees the world in a tour bus, playing out the passion he’s had since he was four years old. Since graduating in December with a recording engineering degree (ironically, the science of music), our 23-year-old son is creating and producing his own music on his own, to be released.
We live in a culture that can’t stop to celebrate hitting goals because you have to immediately start thinking about pursuing the next one. But the Bible is full of the stories of God’s people stopping to mark what He did for them. That doesn’t mean everything was rosy but living through the journey was worth commemorating. There is a time for such realization. (That’s tribal, not corporate.)
Back to my leap seven years ago that I have yet to land from, another realization is I am more committed today to getting the Gospel out than I have ever been in my life, using the amazing tools and resources available to this generation. Just in the first six months of this year, we will reach tens of thousands through the distribution of books, studies, devotionals, and on-line offerings like this. Yes, there are certainly many evils in the on-line world, but never have we had the ability to reach right into people’s homes and hands with the Truth like today. And, honestly, the older I get, I just don’t see much purpose to this life outside of Christ—knowing Him and making Him known.
Now, here’s the bottom line reality of the past five paragraphs. Everything I talked about…God has done. We just try to cooperate with Him. No credit goes anywhere but to Him. When we walk out our faith, the world will tell us its crazy insane but the truth is it’s the safest place we can ever be, exactly wherever God tells us to go.
So, as I reflected over the past week on the past seven years, I felt today I needed to publicly say, while the world holds onto so many gods and touts the finite power of mankind, the Gospel truth is we only need One, the Only One there actually is. He is behind, before, and beside us, even when we doubt and fear. The God of the plenty and the famine. The God of the blessing and the trial. The God of the still and the storm.
Life is not an audition for eternity; it is merely the jumping off point.