Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Posted by Erin Posted on 10:35 AM | 1 comment

Becoming One of 7 in 7 (Midweek Thoughts)

Today, in a conversation about 7 in7, I was asked, “So when do you say, ‘this just isn’t for me. I may love music but I’m not going to write the next big worship song or be the next Chris Tomlin.’?”

Maybe this person was attempting to kindly steer me away from investing in something that I may not be cut out for. But I think he was honestly just asking, “How much time do you spend writing when it isn’t your living?”

And to be honest, this is a question I ask myself often. How much to I invest in singing and writing? How much time, energy, lack of sleep, even money do I spend on writing songs when there is no guarantee of a return.

And my flesh wants to know the answer. She wants to be protected from working till my fingers bleed and my eyes are bloodshot and my heart is tangled in the promises made by guitar strings and my own mind. She wants to not feel the disappointment and sting of rejection if after all, no one cares…no one who can repay my efforts.

On the other hand, my spirit, my soul, the part of me that is aware of God even when my flesh is screaming against Him, she writes because it is in her to write. She sings because she cannot do anything else. Will I be the next Christy Nockels or Nichole Nordeman? I would be arrogant and my thoughts of my ability would be far exceeding their actual might in saying yes. And yet, I would be foolish to say no. From where I sit, I do not see how I could follow such amazing talent, how I could stand in the places graced by a thousand others who know more, speak clearer, and write more beautifully than I. But my God, His thoughts are higher than mine, and His ways I do not understand. Who can say what He will do with my songs? I do know that if I don’t write any, He won’t do anything with them. It is not up to me to decide where I am in 5 years. It is up to me to be obedient to what I have been given today.

It is the same in any other ability and passion. A teacher will teach regardless of whether or not he has a formal setting in which to do so. He will teach over coffee with friends, around the dinner table; he will teach himself. A painter will paint, an athlete will compete. Not every athlete will be paid to run, to kick, throw, or jump. But every athlete will run, kick, throw, or jump anyways.

I write because I must. I sing because if I don’t, I will shrink into the darkness.


Will said...

You're so right: we think that our gifts would be so formalized and publicly recognized, or otherwise maybe that's not our gift after all? But you have highlighted how false that mindset really is. God delights in you using the gifts He has given you, even if no one in the world does. And of course, we are delighting in them, as well.

(I have found myself living a "dual career," as well. One public, as I have been formally trained in college...the one that pays the bills...the other is more private, but is the passion that drives me. If you haven't noticed, I like to write and teach. And it's funny, you're dead-on: sometimes you accidentally teach yourself! In that moment, you realize you weren't the source of any teaching coming through you anyway, for how else could you learn so much by observation of your own missteps or inspirations?

Rock on, Erin. Keep singing. Keep writing. :-)