It was a privilege to meet and be a part...
Recently, a few teenage guys from my church youth group and I hit up Grille 33, a popular venue for local and Christ following musicians to perform and make a mark in the Greenville, SC community. It was a great time of fellowshipping complimented by great food and uplifting music. The guys were able to meet some of their favorite musicians, notably Everyday Sunday, among the group of traveling artists composed of Canton Jones, Don't Know Dorothy, Kim Dexter, and Allan Scott. For me, I was most excited to have had the opportunity to meet John Waller, a man whose music helped me get through a hard time of transition and change in my college years.
I was able to catch John before the show began and we were able to have a short, but uplifting, conversation. He shared a little bit of his experience, encouraged me, and we were able connect and express support in one another's endeavors. He was someone who, you could tell, didn't seek fame, but the opportunity to impact any and all he came across. What I remember the most from our short interaction was an echo and confirmation of a truth that has reoccured in appearance in my life and the lives of those around me: "We never arrive here."
Being someone fighting through his "quarter-life crisis," it brought me great comfort hearing this from a musician, husband, and father of 9 kids! John, having gone through a variety of trials over the course of his life, could attest to the ever changing, winding, and continual faith-driven discovery that is life, a journey meant to be lived a day at a time with the arrival beyond this veil. His song "Crazy Faith," which he sang that night, was inspired by his and his wife's decision to adopt three kids from South America. It was a journey that took, and would continually take, massive amounts of prayer and guidance. Hearing his story was a great reminder that though life throws crazy and hard things at us, there is strength, direction, and purpose that can be found amidst uncertainty...and that we're not meant to walk the road alone.
Watching these talented and faith-driven people go out and do what they do - leaving home to go on a tour with the hope that you can reach out to someone with a message - reminded me that life's journey is one we must all walk and one that we can only start ourselves. Each one of them had people and a life they left behind for a time (Kim being the farthest one from home in Southern California). There is a cost for taking a journey...materially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. For them, the call to complete the task of getting a message out with music for the sake of uplifting others is worth it. What drove them is hope...a hope and belief that, though they'll encounter obstacles and might not understand all that happens to them, they'll still be able to watch the life of one - or many - get changed by God and what they do.
We all have to have clear vision of who we want to be and where we want to go. It isn't going to be "safe," or easy. But when fueled by the aspiration and desire to live out the purposeful (and if it is truly good) it bears fruit along the road of our labor. Any journey will have days that are long, tiring, and where we might feel slightly jaded at what the day brought forth. But, fully believing in our own hearts and minds in what we do, we'll be able to get back up and continue going forward.