As I sit here waiting for my 4-month-old daughter to drift to sleep I begin to reflect… Hold that thought, she’s crying and her eyes seem to say, “but I don’t want to take a nap daddy!” As I sing, “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine” to calm her cries, my mind drifts between thought and daydream like a wandering dragonfly. Life is but a flash of light in the scope of the entire universe. What part do we play? What is the role of humanity?
Ok, hold it. Before I go crazy with this thought or that, let me back up, let me start over. There is so much to share in life and sometimes it helps putting my thoughts on a page. It can be difficult to reign in my mind at times and that’s part of the reason I’m starting this blog. I often joke with my wife about having undiagnosed A.D.D. and she laughs ruefully knowing that it is more true than not. Maybe that’s why my little girl has trouble sleeping. There’s too much to do and see, and new things to discover! Sleep? No way!
All of this aside, I think it’s important to start at the beginning. When my mind starts spinning out of control, I try to pause, and re-examine, “hold it now, what am I doing? Why am I here? What purpose do I have on this earth?” I realize these are vast questions with immense implications, but these vast ponderings can only be satisfied by one answer. I believe it is simply to give God the glory and enjoy him forever.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
This may be an over simplification, but it is a great place to start when considering the meaning of life. It is quite challenging to externalize 1st Corinthians 10. How should this scripture play out in everyday life? By the time I get home from work, by the time my wife and I, and the little ones eat dinner, do the dishes, put the kids to bed, and sit down; it really doesn’t feel like we’re giving God the glory, and the whole “enjoy him forever” part seems even farther away. Amidst the craziness of life, when I finally take the time to sit down, open the word and pray, when I turn the pages of the scriptures and begin learning about what took place in the gospel. I see glimmers of hope. Signs of life, there is something beyond me.
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” Ephesians 5:13-14
This scripture has a way of cutting through clouds of doubt and fear. It has always spoken to me. In fact I would love to write a song about this passage at some point. There is a point where the Lord quiets my spinning mind, and despite how busy things get, I must strive to know Christ. There is no greater joy than discovering life in Jesus.
A little life history: I have been making films for the past 4-6 years. I graduated with a Radio, TV, Film degree from North Texas and started a production company. Along the way I’ve always loved to worship and to write songs. I felt a distinct calling early in my childhood to worship, and as a young boy I learned guitar and began singing. My first song to learn on guitar was “Shout To The Lord”. I can remember it taking me quite awhile to learn the C chord shape. I couldn’t quite make my fingers stretch across those three frets!
Last fall I finally let go of what I thought that calling would look like, and just started living life. Serving at our church, keeping busy with my filmmaking business, and trying my utmost to prioritize quality time with my growing family and with God. That’s when the opportunity to do a residency with Austin Stone Community Church arose.
I have generally scoffed in my mind at people who say they were “called” to the ministry or “called” to go overseas and preach the gospel. I often thought, what does it mean to be called? How does one truly know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has spoken to you and called you to something?
I have found the best way to answer the question of calling is through prayer. The word of God and His spirit will lead and speak to us.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:14-15
I have found this to be true in my life in so many ways. At every turn, in every hardship, there is no rest for my weary soul until I turn my eyes and seek Him.
…And we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Romans 5:2-4
Time and time again, I have prayed and God has answered. Sometimes it’s simply the fact that I can’t escape the prodding of His spirit in my mind. Music, leadership, community, relationships, and people; God has given me a compelling passion in these areas. Although it can manifest itself in many ways, leading community in praise and adoration of the creator has always been something God given me a passion for. It is far more than playing music.
Let me just say this: Wherever we are as a people, wherever our hearts may be, we can rest in the knowledge that God understands the cry of our hearts far more than we ever will. So let’s begin again together.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12