I have an inability to dream small goals. They are all gigantic. When I envision the future, I envision having a voice and bring God glory through writing and music. I want the thing made for Him to be of a better quality than the things made for the world. Excellence for Him.
I grew up outside of Dallas in a small Texas town; it was one of the richest cities in the area. My family wasn’t poor, but we weren’t close to the median either. There were five kids, and my dad was the primary breadwinner. I felt inferior going to school with the rich kids. If we lived in a different town, my family could be viewed as better off, but because of the people we were around, I couldn’t see that.
Our house was on a dead-end street, and right behind us were fields and a trail that went for miles (we ignored the no trespass sign). As kids, we often go exploring. In the densely wooded parts, we would let our dogs run loose, and play hide and seek with them. That whole region has changed so much. If I stood in the same place, I wouldn’t be able to recognize it. The woods are all gone.
I learned not to judge people too quickly from my experience with the band director in high school. People talked a lot of smack about our band director because he was goofy and tough on the bad kids. But he was kind to me. One year, I told him I couldn’t afford to go to a band competition, and he ended up paying for my trip. He recommended me to play at different events around town and nominated me for a music ambassador program. You had to pay to be in the program so I couldn’t participate, but it was kind of him to take notice and pass on my name. He surprised me.
Thinking back, I’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t had to overcome a lot. I did go through a year and a half without a regular job. My wife was pregnant during that time, and anxiety was high. As a guy that’s the worst thing ever; self-doubt and lack of confidence can be crippling. I started thinking I should be further along in my artistic endeavors. I questioned my writing and music. During the year and a half, I thought I would have time to work on music or writing, but I didn’t feel inspired. You feel lethargic; it’s hard to keep applying for jobs when you don’t feel like it is going anywhere. My advice to anyone going through it is to get on your knees and seek God. Look to God for directions rather than grabbing for straws.
My hope for my son is he will become a strong man of God (and he would be musical too). He wouldn’t have the same fears and inhibitions I have. He would be bold and confident in the person God made him to be.