Nuts and bolts. I get busy with the nuts and bolts of ministry…responding to emails, confirming bookings, focusing on details and logistics, and praying about what God has for the new year, all while the piano sits untouched in the corner of the living room. In a perfect world, I’d do nothing but write songs, then go and sing them for anyone who will listen. But, as today’s independent artists know all too well, there’s work to be done and no longer droves of staff to do it. The industry has changed. And my left brain has been on overdrive trying to keep up with it.
Still, I read this week in Jeff Goins’ book, The Art of Work, “a calling is that thing that you can’t not do.” And for a second I could breathe, reconnecting with that passion deep inside.
Continuing on, one afternoon, again tackling emails, I read one from Nichole. “I’m not sure that Cheri will ever see this…”, she wrote. Only I did see it. And it made me want to fight all the more for time at the piano. To write what I know to be true. To carry on with the calling…
My first and only Cheri Keaggy concert was at a small church north of Bellingham, WA in the 90s. I went as an opportunity presented to me by my mother. I was in a very dark and depressed state. I had given over my life to temptation and was headed in a horrible direction. When she sang “Child of the Father” I remembered who I was in Christ and prayed. I grew up in the church, sang every song, and participated in every possible function. Although I was never formally taught in a Sunday school, I knew that I was a child of God and that by grace I was saved. I trusted God again when I heard her sing the line “and I know what that means for me, it means I’m redeemed and forgiven…” Later that Summer I was baptized in a nearby lake. The following Spring I met a group of kids that would continue to shape my life and become some of the closest friends I have today.
I truly credit that concert as a turning point in my life and I am eternally grateful for Cheri and her passion. Keep pursuing your dream and know that God is using you in moments that you never expected in ways that will baffle you for years to come.
Written probably some twenty-four years ago, “Child of the Father” became the title cut of my first album. I penned it back in California after my pastor, Sam Rima, preached a sermon on what it means to be a child of God. Many of my first love songs to the Lord were birthed at that church. And I’m still singing them today. Because while the industry has changed, God’s truths remain. Timeless, tried, and true, and as my dear sister so kindly shared, transforming.
I am working on accepting the fact that I must use both sides of my brain to do this whole music thing. My left brain for the business stuff. And my right brain for the creative. If this neurological collaboration gets me to the desired end, impacted lives, then bring on the mash-up.
Oddly, Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37 strike me in a completely new way…”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The left, the right, all of it. SO cool.
I thank God for Nichole who enthusiastically gave her blessing for me to share her story. God used the timing of her email to fan the flames once more. To shake me out of work mode to remember the greater work. The wondrous work that God does when we do whatever it takes to do what He’s called us to do. Because we can’t not do it.
Until next time…