November 02, 2006

November '06 Newsletter


I watched a freaking good movie tonight…and let me just say that I absolutely love movies that are done well. The reason I think I like movies so much is because of what they do to me. After a good film I will usually leave and spend the rest of the night reflecting on the circumstances, actions and thoughts of the people involved in the film. It may sound strange, but it’s as if I leave with this heightened sense of reality where I am very aware of all that’s around me.
I saw this particular movie with my friend, Ben…and we were both freaking out pretty much the entire duration of the film. Afterwards though, I started having crazy thoughts again (as is the case on most nights post-movie). After Ben and I parted ways I began to head home. I popped in some tunes, and began noticing some things. As I drove along the dark highway, I realized how lonely this time of night is. There’s virtually nothing around you—it’s just you and this vast expanse of road—and everything just lends itself to helping create that lonely sense. You sit at stoplight after stoplight and will most times not even see a single car. You pass by a mall and the lot is empty—the usual hustle and bustle of the day is nonexistent. You pass by streetlight after streetlight…and even they convey this sense of being lonely. How on earth can a lamppost be lonely?? It’s an inanimate object!
My thoughts didn’t stop there though.
I then thought back to the nights where I had really felt alone in this life, and I was really encouraged that my heart has remained tender throughout the times of hurt, pain, and personal failures that I’ve had to cope with thus far. After that thought passed, the very same question I was asking myself became outward. As cars would sporadically pass me, I would wonder if the person in that car was lonely, tired, or struggling to retain any sense of hope for this life. My heart immediately broke.
I then had tons of light bulbs go off in my head. I realized this is to be my life purpose. I really want to do as Christ did and help restore hope to the hopeless. I want to encounter people and have them leave with smiles on their faces, laughter in their hearts, and joy—genuine joy—in their souls. There is a passage that really goes well with this thinking. It’s Isaiah 61:1-3.
Recently I finished recording a band and during one of our phone conversations a funny interaction was had. The band was expressing how much they loved the recording, and after going on about that for a bit they said how happy I had made them. I responded by saying something to the effect of, “Anytime. It’s what I do.” Now this may be a funny example to pull from, but I realized that even something as simple as recording can be very rewarding on many levels. Sure, money is made and I may have the possibility of gaining more clients—that is, if the quality of the recording is exceptional—but that’s not the point. The thing that really makes this type of thing rewarding for me is getting to sit back and watch these guys go around and show everyone what they’ve created. It’s just great to see their faces light up and then to see that energy focused on telling everyone they know about their new recording and how everyone should own a copy…or three. Ultimately, it’s not about me gaining anything from the band, but rather me getting the opportunity to instill that sense of joy and purpose in them. Not only that, but to also have the awesome privilege to sit back and watch them transform from being all calm, cool, and collected to a bunch of Mexican jumping beans! It’s all about getting the chance to love them as Christ loved (and still loves) me.
Growing up, my dad would always take these obscenely out of the way routes to get to whatever place we were headed to. I remember frequently getting upset by this…usually because it meant we would be done having family time way later than I wanted. I was always wishing to be elsewhere, and I felt that these leisurely routes were pointed attacks meant to upset me to no end. Looking back on that now though, I think my dad was just doing what I am now having the desire to do. He was just trying to gather the family together for some quality time. He was just looking for time for us to all come together and laugh, love, cry, and just enjoy one other. It worked too…there were numerous times where I didn’t want to be there initially, but by the end of the night we were all laughing together (usually at something one of us did that was rather embarrassing) and I don’t think any of us were wanting that time to end. I’ll bet that my dad was taking all those leisurely routes in order to keep those special moments alive, and that is unbelievably beautiful to me.
This is where I’m headed I think. I’m done trying to manufacture success for myself…it’s not worth losing sight of the beauty of the current moment, and I really truly am looking to position myself in a way that is conducive to setting others up for success. I would much rather have that be my legacy than anything else I could conjure up on my own. Caring for all the hurting people in the world is a large task, but it’s something I feel that all of God’s children are called to eventually. I just love the fact that I get to take part in the restoration of God’s kingdom. I, a broken person, get to play a role in restoring the good and perfect kingdom of God…bringing all people back into an unbelievably close, intimate, and right relationship with the Creator of the universe.
I think it’s inherent in every human—this unspoken desire for there to be those special “all is right with the world” moments like the ones I got to share on those leisurely drives and recording projects, but a lot of times we don’t live in the moment enough to recognize it. My goal from this point forth is to try to love people with the love of Christ (which is a much better love than I could ever give anyone) so other people can enjoy those beautiful moments where they feel like they belong—that they really do matter…and that they don’t just matter to me, but that they matter to God.
Thanks to you guys for allowing me the chance to work with students and really live this out. If it wasn’t for your support, this goal of mine would be much tougher to achieve. So thank you!!!

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