Everybody also says that if we want to be musical artists we have to have drive. We have to want it more than anything. We have to be willing to sleep in our car, eat Ramen noodles and never sleep. If we have a plan “B” we might as well just do that, because the only people who make it in this industry are the ones who can’t see themselves doing anything else.
These concepts are all very inspiring, but they kind of contradict each other. If the most important thing in our lives in making it, then doesn’t that mean we care more about our career than we do about our fans? By definition, can’t there only be one most important thing? If what is inside of us is an unquenchable desire to pursue a music career, and we truly wish to be open and vulnerable in our performances, then shouldn’t we be conveying this desire to our audience? How can we be expressing genuine outward passion and connection to our fans during a performance while inside we are actually craving success, power and attention?
When you think about it, the music industry is designed to turn artists into self-centered, lying hypocrites. Reducing ourselves to this is the only way to achieve true success (according to all the professional advice out there). We learn to put on a fake display of emotional connection on stage in order to con people into loving and supporting us. We act as if we are connected to the fans, when really we are connected to their money and loyalty.
I guess this means I am not cut out for the music industry. I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to sustain that type of existence. I love music, but I love God even more. Every day I strive to cultivate more of Him in me. When I sing and play, my goal is to have Him flow through me and out to the audience. The more of Him I have inside, the more flows out. If that leads people to want to come to my events or purchase my music, so be it. If instead that leads people to want to study the Word more or spend more time in worship, that’s an even better outcome. If people’s lives were somehow changed for the good by having a personal experience with the one true God, then I’m happy. That is my reason for writing, singing, playing and leading Bible studies. It is my reason for living.
How do I know this is true? I can honestly say that there has been a serious change in my life. A while back, my wife asked me if I would be willing to quit music if God requested it of me. Sadly, that question was very difficult for me to answer. Based on my knowledge of the Bible, I knew what my answer should be. However, that wasn’t the answer that I felt in my heart. Now my heart has changed. Now I can honestly say that without Him everything else is meaningless to me. If He asked I would give up music in a heartbeat. He is my only source. He is my reason for making music. Without Him, I am nothing. He is what’s inside of me!