As I mentioned in Part 1, I don't know anything Chris's personal beliefs, nor do I mean to imply anything about them by these posts. I'm just sharing my own thoughts, inspirations, and applications gleaned from his writing.
There are so many great lessons in this book about preparation, leadership, and contributing to a larger whole. But one of my favourite themes is a definition of success.
Early on, Chris adopted this attitude:
"Throughout all this I never felt that I'd be a failure in life
if I didn't get to space."
Wow. I didn't even realize you could be an astronaut if you didn't go into space. And how happy can an Earth-bound astronaut be?
In music, we love the great successes - the hit song, the huge publishing deal, the national award. Even in worship music, we've developed a culture of music hits and superstars. We create our music for God and God's people, but let's be honest - who doesn't want their song to become a worship hit? Who doesn't want to hear their song on the radio and see it rise to the top of the CCLI charts? Only a few musicians will ever have any kind of superstar success, but all career musicians will have those highs - the moments when we feel like we're in space. It you stick around in this business, you'll have an amazing performance, or a television appearance, or some other accomplishment that makes you go, "Wow, this is the best life ever!!"
"Still, I also know that most people, including me, tend to applaud the wrong things: the showy, dramatic record-setting sprint rather than the years of dogged preparation or the unwavering grace displayed during a string of losses. Applause, then, never bore much relation to the reality of my life as an astronaut, which was not all about, or even mostly about, flying around in space.
It was really abut making the most of my time here on Earth."
What is your life in music truly about? If it's about the hit song or the big win, quit now and go back to singing in the shower. We personally know several musicians for whom that is their driving force and you know what? They're miserable. They are never satisfied. They live with a constant sense of entitlement and disappointment.
If your goal is to make music for God and for God's people, then do that. Make music. Experience the joy and fulfilment of creating a song that didn't exist before your hand hit the guitar. Have a rehearsal where you take an old song and find a fresh new way to play it. Feel the frustration of that one riff you just can't nail. Wrestle with rejection. Sing for a group of people who need your message. Hear their stories, and let that inform your music. Wake up the next day and do it all over again.
Along the way, you'll have successes of various sizes,
but let them punctuate your life and not define it.
Enjoy each step of the journey, and love your musical life here on Earth....
My next post will be my 1000th blog post!!
Come back this weekend as I celebrate this milestone...
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