So often in life we hear those voices around us say, “It can't be done, it won't work, that's a stupid idea, nobody is going to pay for that, it's too expensive or why don't you get a real job.” I wouldn't be writing this post today had I listened to all the voices telling me it couldn't be done or it was a bad idea. I personally think most people are afraid of the unknown, afraid of change, what others might think or even their own shadow.
Over the past 29 years I have stayed focused on the direction I wanted to go in life. I refused to listen to all the negative voices that were telling me I needed to do things differently or I should go with the flow. It hasn't always been easy. Yes, I have made some really bad decisions along the way. But guess what, they were my decisions and no one else's. I have learned many valuable lessons from those decisions. For some of us, that is how we learn. If we look at history for a moment, how many people have ever achieved something worthwhile by fitting in?
I have a great story to illustrate my point. The story of David and Goliath. There was this giant man named Goliath and each day he came out to the battle line and taunted King Saul's army. Everyone in Saul's army was afraid to go fight this giant, even King Saul. When your King refuses to fight, you better go find another King. Sorry, that's another post. So here comes this little shepherd boy named David. He went up to King Saul and said, “I'll go fight him.” Everyone laughed at him, mocked him and called him names.
King Saul was at a loss, he didn't know what to do. No one in his army would go out and fight so he said to David, “Okay you can go fight, but you must wear my armor.” So David agreed and put on the Saul's armor and guess what? It didn't fit. David tried to walk in it, couldn't walk. Tried to move, couldn't move. David took the armor off because it wasn't made for him. He went to battle line to fight Goliath with the skill and ability he had developed. David took his sling and a few stones and charged Goliath and killed him with a single blow. David certainly didn't fit the mold of what a mighty warrior looked or acted like. He was a little shepherd boy, but knew how to fight the enemy. He knew how to protect his sheep from lions and bears. How often in life is someone desperately trying to fit us in their armor?
My son Joshua is going through a similar situation in life right now. One year ago, at the age of 20 he packed up his car, with his guitars and a little money and drove all the way to Nashville to pursue his dream of playing music. Ever since he was eight years old, all he has ever wanted to do was play music. He would sit in his room for hours and play his guitar.
He recently quit his part time job to pursue his music full time and did the arrows and comments start to fly. I shouldn't say start, they have been flying around for the past couple of years, but now they have intensified. I look back when I was his age, I never had the courage to quit my job and move to a strange city. I dreamed about it, but never acted on it because of fear and all the negative voices.
I had a long talk with Joshua the other night. I always enjoy talking with him. We have an amazing relationship. He is so passionate, kind, sensitive and deeply cares about others. I told him to stay focused on his dream and don't listen to all the negative voices that say, “It can't be done or you should get a job.”
My son is extremely talented. He writes all his own music. He produced his first CD when he was 19. He recorded the whole CD in one evening. Recently he wrote 15 new songs in 15 days for his next CD. God has blessed him with this incredible talent. I am not saying this because he is my son. I am saying this because he is extremely talented.
Joshua, if you are reading this, you have a job and that job is to bless the lives of those around you with your music that God has laid on your heart. Son, go out and change the world with what you love to do. Don't let anyone take that away from you. I am so proud of you. We are in this battle together. I've got your back and I know you've got mine. Never give up. Never lose sight of what's important. Stay true to who you are and who God made you to be. God doesn't make mistakes. I am proud to be your father and it is a blessing and a privilege to call you my son.
There is so much more that I could say but I will save it for another time. In closing, I recently watched the movie Million Dollar Baby for the third time. If you haven't seen the movie it is a must. The movie says so much about being the underdog. This quote says it all.
“It's the magic of risking everything on a dream nobody sees but you.” – Million Dollar Baby