I was having coffee with a dear friend of mine the other day and we got to talking about art and music and our shared desire to pursue these avenues. My friend told me that often the problem is, we begin any meaningful pursuit in the arts with an end goal in mind. We believe we are supposed to be like him or her, and we measure our success against theirs. Deep down, we know this is completely unfair since we often judge the end of someone’s career with our beginning, but at the same time, it’s unfair because we are not a carbon copy of that person. As my friend said, “You don’t have to be Bob Dylan.”
*This is a guest post from one of my high school students. Recently he wrote about how his relationship with God helped him during a difficult situation and what he learned from the experience. I love his insight. Enjoy!
I recently asked a girl to prom. Simple enough right? There were some unimportant things that were said/done after but the gist of the young lady’s response was “No.” Cue the dramatic music and teenage cry fit right? Wrong. She was astounded too. I think she expected me to go off on her or have some other crazy response. I didn’t. It stung at first but really my walk with Christ had really helped me to deal with a situation such as this with ease.
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus does a lot of partying. He’s described as someone who is constantly eating and hanging with people that normally someone of his pedigree would avoid. He eats with the rich, the poor, and sinners of all kind. Some of his more infamous dinner guests are tax collectors and prostitutes. To eat with someone in antiquity was to declare social solidarity, which was a statement if someone was ever going to make a statement. It was to take a step outside of the social norm and embrace people whom you’d normally ignore and definitely not fellowship with. But this wasn’t the case with Jesus, someone who lived his life as a beautiful contrast to the way of the world.
I discovered a new television channel the other night. There was nothing new on my DVR and my Netflix account wasn’t working properly, so I was stuck having to search through commercial filled TV channels to find something to watch. It was a rough night…and also the epitome of ‘first world problems.’ Eventually, though, I stumbled across the AXS TV channel. It’s a channel that usually goes unnoticed, tucked away past my usual television stomping ground of ESPN, A& E and the History Channel. Turns out, the AXS channel shows concerts and other music-inspired media. Not too bad of a discovery. And it just so happened that at nine o’clock on a Sunday evening an older John Mayer concert was on. For those who know me, this is a beautiful discovery analogous to finding a substantial balance left on a Starbucks gift card.
John Mayer inspired a previous blog post of mine because, well, I love him. (Actually, I love his music… not him per say) It’s true. I am a big a fan of his and he said something on AXS TV that was captivating. John was describing a musician’s journey and shared that musicians as a lot are all about continuity. There is this continuation among st musicians where you can pick out their sound and style and connect it to people who’ve gone before them. John mentioned his music is heavily influenced by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Hendrix. According to John, he was drawn to these two in particular because their guitar playing was ‘otherworldly.’ There was something about the way they not only played their instruments, but embodied the musical experience that to him was life-changing. John believed Stevie and Jimmy were two quiet souls who tapped into this alternate existence and he had them to thank for his current sound. In his mind they became otherworldly.