Saturday, May 3, 2008

Why do I care how many myspace friends I have?

Flexibility…It is the blessing and curse of being a musician for a living. There are seasons of work and rest, and those seasons are not determined by a 9 to 5 job. Today, I was planning on working cause my wife usually has art school on Saturdays. But after yesterday, I began to realize some things I need to explore. That inner voice that is telling me that there is a higher calling than productivity.

Today’s journal is a bit of part 2 from the last blog (“who am I as an artist”). By the way, thanks so much to those who wrote some VERY encouraging notes. That meant a lot to me. I often wonder why I’m writing in the blog. I know a lot of it is for myself, just a place to process. Yet to know that what God is putting on my heart might encourage, inspire, or even provoke readers is a purpose in itself. I’ve committed myself to this blog for six months. If you are liking it, please continue to chime in, and tell others about the blog who might relate to them too.

I think everyone has their own version of sanctuary whether they choose to utilize it or not. I think sometimes it is a Church service, and sometimes, it is a walk on the beach (probably not in San Diego in the summer for a guy though…way too much bikkinage to deal with). I think that place may change from season to season. When I went through my divorce years ago, it was Starbucks. It was place to journal and connect to the source. God did a lot of talking, and I was doing a lot of listening. There is not as much noise at places like this. I can just open my MacBook and start typing. Here, God sits next to me (he usually orders green teas) and joins in the conversation.

I wanted to follow up on yesterday’s blog. I feel that it is undone in part because it kind of depressed me. Not necessarily the blog, but the experience of writing it and reflecting on the whole story of the 4 year old artist (if you are new to this blog, you should read the previous one first). Last night, I knew my heart was starving for attention, so today I decided to go here instead of pushing ahead with music and band stuff. A verse from Philippians has been speaking to me.
“…but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” – Phil 3:12

Pressing on. Taking hold. These are great words of action that I need. When going through the “depths” of life, it is those words that insist you keep going and that you keep hoping. Pressing on and taking hold could even be described as pressing IN. So if that’s my part, to press in, then what is “THAT for which Christ Jesus” is taking a hold of me? The verses before it clarify that the “that” is resurrection. A very Churchy word to many of us. For peeps like me, my brain turns off when I hear words like that. I’ve heard it too many times to stop and actually digest what it means. I have to force myself to actually identify what the concept of resurrection really is. Things that come to mind? Life, hope, and existence. The word that really rattles my brain when thinking about this though is INHERITANCE. Think about that word in context of the “that.”

Here I am, in this soul excursion at a tea-house pressing on and taking hold of the INHERITANCE that God has for me. And the only reason why I CAN take hold of inheritance is because has already taken hold of me for that very reason. He takes hold of me to implement inheritance. He has set aside and secured inheritance for ME! What is my inheritance? Being solely His. You and I are forever sons and daughters in the family of God.

I’ve realized the reasons behind much of my worries these days. It is when I forget about my inheritance and begin to act more like an orphan. An orphan has to fend for himself. He has to protect himself, secure his own spot at the table, and compete with others to make sure he doesn’t starve. I can compare this to me getting bummed that the other band or artist out there has more hits on myspace. How silly is that?

For those of you who (like me) actually look at those numbers, a few words. First, the number of “friends” is irrelevant. Bands whose sole purpose is to get “friends” on myspace for status buy “friend adders” which are programs that automatically add friends through automated internet means. You can pay for friends. You can be a nobody band and get thousands of friends this way. Secondly, a more valid way of seeing how many people are going to the site is looking at the total of number of plays each day. That gives you an idea of how many actual people are logging on and playing the music. Thirdly and most importantly, why the heck does any of this matter! When I begin to evaluate my music or someone else’s music this way, that’s when I have truly lost everything that I fight for.

These are some of the things that make a heart sick. There is always a band who has higher number than you. There is always better musicians than you, nicer people than you, bigger houses than yours. This is a fact of life. But when you live with an orphan heart, you actually care a lot about these things.

Pressing on, pressing in, taking hold of inheritance is the only cure to a hearts sickness. Yes, we have at some point been either literally orphaned or spiritually metaphorically orphaned. For me, living with an orphan heart means that I wonder sometimes if God really is fighting for me. I wonder where my significance really comes from. I wonder if He will really pull through when I need Him most. “I have been hurt before, Lord!” Taking hold of inheritance means taking the day today to recognize the need, and to lean into Him a little bit more than yesterday.
“God, help me to take hold of my inheritance. Help me to believe in my value and meaning as an adopted son of yours.”


Jeff said...

Open, honest, vulnerable... I like it... Keep sharing!

Josh said...

Thanks so much Eric for opening yourself up like that. It is the encouragement that my spirit needs today. I need to know that I'm not the only one struggling. I liked that you seperated "sons" from "orphans" (my mom uses the term "slaves.") Our true calling is as sons and the more we remember that, the better.