Wasted Gift

22 04 2018

As many of you know I have a strong passion for music; it was the one area that I seemed Rock _nto have some ability from a young age. But ones who knew me best must have wondered sometimes if I really enjoyed it. I was very critical of my performance, coming away from concerts frustrated with how I played and wanting to do better next time around. If that attitude wasn’t bad enough, let a fellow band member mess up or do something I felt was below the norm I had set; well look out Jack, we were going to have words! The situation got so bad that I had friends who would quit the band because of my attitude. One buddy told me, “Hey John, I love you but when it comes to playing together in a band, I’d just soon smack you in the face with my guitar!” And yes, we’re still pals even though he wouldn’t share a stage for 20 years. The same arrogance followed me when I began playing gospel songs. I loved making music for my Lord but my attitude was still judgmental on how well I or someone else performed; it was something I couldn’t shake.  I’m sure there are several reasons for this mindset I could point to, but that’s not what I want to focus in on today. Let’s just cut to the chase and let me tell you how I got over myself.

It wasn’t until an older friend approached me about this problem that I began to see myself as I really was. “John, I love hearing you play, but when I talk to you afterwards you’re always miffed and point out all the mistakes. Truthfully, I don’t hear them and probably no one else does either. I’m surprised how unhappy you are. So, my question to is, are you doing music for the right reasons? If not, perhaps it would be better if you stopped and found something else to do, something that will make you happy.” Wow! If that wasn’t a 2X4 between the eyes I don’t know what would be! I can’t say his words didn’t sting and even made me a bit angry; but God knew I needed to hear those words. He knew there was a need to do some heart searching on who exactly I was trying to please with my gift. Him? Others? Or me?

I believe one of my favorite quotes comes from Leo Buscaglia, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” God looked down and saw a young boy with a learning problem and very little self-esteem. Perhaps He said, “It’s okay, just trust me and it will get better, I promise. As an added bonus I’m going to give you the love of music and making music. What you do with it will be up to you. Because I love you.” There used to be an acronym based on the word J.O.Y.  Jesus, Others, You.  I had to break out of a self-centered attitude that it wasn’t all about me but the One who gifted me–Jesus my Lord. Then came the people who I touched with that gift–Others. Finally, I will never be the greatest musician in the world, but I can take delight in the gift that was given–You.

1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

This “Traveler of Rock Road” has come a long way in his attitude by learning how to worship my Lord with my gift, by sharing it with others, and by loving what God has given me. What more can a man ask for?!!

I am much easier to play music with now, even my old buddy told me he’d share a stage with me again. But remember his threat, I just may wear my bicycle helmet when we do jam!

See ya next time.




One response

25 04 2018
Beverly Crane

Never would of thought you could have an attitude like that John. So happy you woke up and shared this and found the right path. Your words are such an inspiration and always make me feel like we’re all on the same page!!Keep on Traveling that Rock Road!!

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