Did I Misunderstand?

1 04 2013

As far back as I can remember the only occupation I had an interest in pursuing was a Imagecareer in music.  The desire to perform has burned inside of me since the first time I ever heard a live band.  It was magical to me, to watch each musicians work their instrument in a way that they blended with the others to make sound, beautiful harmonious melodies that completely swept me away, be it four piece rock group, jazz ensembles, or large orchestras.  I really didn’t care what it was I was going to play, I just knew I was born to a musician, and a musician will be what I do to till the day I die!

I started first trying to play guitar, an instrument I struggled with terribly, so bad that my music teacher informed my mom that it would be best not waste any more time and money on me, I just didn’t have it.  Broken hearted, I just knew he was wrong about me and thank goodness I had a mother that felt the same; on to drum lessons where I caught on much better and quicker.  This is where I found my entry into music and I made the best of it playing with any and all who would have me.  What I didn’t possess in talent in the early days, I made up for in explosive power (In other words I beat the tar out of those drums!).  I didn’t care if the performance was for 10 or 10,000; I put every bit of my heart and energy into playing.  Well somewhere along the road, two life changing events came my way, the 1st was a discovery of a Savior in Jesus Christ to whom I gave my life.  The 2nd, the young lady that God had chosen for me entered my life.  Over 40 years later I’m here to attest those are still the two constants that have stayed with me.   Music moved to a back burner so to speak.  I didn’t think it was right to be playing music in bar settings when I just became a new Believer.  Plus when Cathy and I married it was obvious that being gone most nights doing gigs wasn’t the best way to get our new life started.  Whether I liked it or not there had to be changes, and those changes had to come on my end.  The love of making music didn’t end there; it just took a different course.  My Lady was blessed with a beautiful voice, but a crash, bam, boom drummer wasn’t the greatest accompaniment to showcase her talent.  Back to my first love.  With the help of a friend who showed me more in an afternoon than my previous guitar teacher did in 6 weeks, I came away with 5 guitar chords and that was enough to play many songs that Cathy could sing.  It wasn’t long before we were doing special music numbers at our church, plus other churches and organizations.  This type of playing was fine and I really did enjoy it, but I felt an emptiness of sort.  I couldn’t help but feel that I was still meant to play music more than just a few Sundays a month for ten minutes.  I would talk to Cathy about how I felt God was calling us to do more with the talents He gave us, but I just didn’t know how to pursue it.  It was then someone told me of a small Christian college in Indiana that had a great music program headed up by a man who had been a professional musician.  I was informed that under his leadership many went on to either teach or become performers in their own right.  I “JUST KNEW” this was where God wanted me to be.

After a whole bunch of forms to fill out, I was accepted to the college for the fall semester of 1974.  We would need more money than we had for moving expense and getting settled in our new home in Indiana so I took a job at one place I knew I could make good money quick, the local foundry in our hometown.  Going to work in an establishment such as a gray iron foundry doesn’t require much aptitude or education; if you could put up with the dirt and the heat and show up for work everyday, you had a job.  At the end of each shift I would have to shower up to 30 minutes to get all the dirt and smell off, it was terrible.  The only thing that kept me going back was the thought, “Get past this and you’ll never have to work in a foundry again.”  Ten weeks later and a couple thousand dollars richer we headed west to our new lives, for better lives in the name of our Lord at least that was the plan. Whoa, what’s up with this?!!  There’s not enough time to go into the occurrences over the next three years; let’s just sum it, for now, and say I was left wondering if I had made the biggest mistake of my life!  Learning on a college level was a lot harder than I imagined, but I “JUST KNEW” God would instill me with what I needed to get the grades; wrong!  Then there was attitude and friend, did I have enough of that to go around!  Being older than most of my classmates, I had a different outlook, a more serious approach that didn’t allow me to enjoy the people around me.  Finally, I struggled a lot with the school’s policies and rules that I saw no more than legalistic BS! (Uh, that stands for Bologna Slices!)  It became harder for me to even show up for classes.  When I finally left three years later I had become hard hearted and disillusioned.

“God, what in the world have you done to me?!!  Didn’t I come out here for you?  Didn’t I give up everything I was doing in my old life for you?  You let me down!   You tricked me!!!  I don’t get it, I JUST KNEW you wanted me here!!!!!

I Just Knew——————-I Just————————————————————–I

It took some time, but a light finally came on inside this hard head of mine; I “just knew” what God wanted for me, but not once did I ever ask Him.

“The supreme challenge you will face in making Christ-honoring, biblical changes is dying to self.  The biblical perspective concerning “self” is exactly opposite to what the wisdom of this world proclaims.”  John C Broger 

I became so wrapped up in what “I saw” and what  “I wanted” that I forgot the most important part to knowing God’s will for my life, ask Him if this is what I should be doing or not.  In all the years since I have trusted Christ as Savior, I have come to learn the more I talk to Him, the more He will lead me in the direction He wants me to go.  And how do I do that?  Simply, prayer and reading of the Word of God diligently.  If you are a Believer who’s struggling with where your life is, I’m willing to wager you do not put these methods of communicating with the Creator of the Universe into practice as well as you should.  No offense, I’m just talking from experience.  As always I stress the point; I am not a religious man, but one of faith. And the more I put my faith in the one I call Lord the more He has led in not only in a direction He wants me to go, but one that I enjoy pursuing.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

So was it a mistake for me to come to Indiana?  I don’t think so, the time I did spend at the school taught me more about music than I ever learned before, enabling me to use it better for what I wanted to do in the first place, to be a minstrel in the service of my King!  The opportunities to play, be it Christian or secular have been vast and for that I give thanks that I am where “He Wants Me.”  Also I came to realize another way to serve that I didn’t give credence before, writing.  It’s hard to tell how big an audience of readers a person has. When you’re playing music you can look out over a crowd and get an idea.  But writing, well that’s something you might or might not be able to get a feel for.  But no matter if its one or a million reading my blog, I love and will continue to write.  Why?  Because I know, this is what “He Wants Me” to do!

Now both of the fields that I’m involved together don’t make me enough money to live. As much as I love doing these things, I need a steady occupation to pay the bills–a tent making as Paul would put it.  So what do I do?  I work in a FOUNDRY!  Granted, it’s nothing like the one back home, much cleaner (especially for me since I work in a lab). 

I’ve had opportunities to leave this job several times, but I’ve chosen not to do so.  Why? Well, because I like what I do and the people I come in contact with.  It’s made a good living for me and my family; they even paid for that college degree that brought me to Indiana in the first place (different school though).  Most of all, after much conversation on the subject I have determined it’s where I belong, at least for now.  Why?  Because it’s where “He Wants Me,” to be.  I’ve got no argument!

Blessings to you, fellow Travelers of the Rock Road!!!


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