030 Advantages Of Being Nobody

The advantages of being a nobody are - from a believer's point of view - not to be underestimated, although they don't make any sense, nor do they present any value to the agnostic mind or merely logical thinker.

The rewards of becoming "somebody" are obvious: fame, money, "success," the ability to pat yourself on the back & say, "yeah, I've made it!" The rewards of remaining a nobody are much more subtle instead, yet not any less real to the one who is able to recognize and perceive them at all: Lack of fame keeps you humble and able to keep the Lord in the No.1 position, instead of yourself. Lack of money keeps you dependent on Him, trusting in Him, instead of your wealth. Success becomes something else to you than as what it is commonly conceived: instead of being synonymous with acquiring the preceding commodities, success instead can be measured by the way you managed to love someone today or the way you made it through the day without worrying, fussing or cussing, and appreciated the little things and people around you instead... And as far as not being able to pat yourself on the back for your own accomplishment goes, you're clearly able to give honor to Whom it is due for whatever did get accomplished.

Being a musician, it can be even tougher to observe others ascend to fame and fortune while you yourself seem to be passed and ignored by "Lady Luck," but then... Did you ever notice how a lot of bands or songwriters seem to lose that magic about their songs as soon as they made it to the top? The examples I could list of this phenomenon in secular music that come to my mind are more than I could number here. You're a fan of a certain singer or songwriter and think "they're the greatest," but along comes album no. 7 or 5, 3, or even 2, and you're disappointed. It's gone. The stress of fame has choked out the magic that got them there in the first place...

When it comes to Christian artists, they sometimes seem to be able to preserve that spark of genuine inspiration a bit longer than their secular counterparts, depending on the "realness" of their faith & relationship with Jesus, I guess.

My absolute heroes for a long time were Shane (Barnard) & Shane (Everett), and their earlier albums have certainly been a great enrichment & obviously an influence on my own songwriting since... ("Breath Of God" or "May The Words" are classics that really lit up our musical landscape!) I'm really happy for the guys being so busy and booked out, but sometimes that "busy-ness" comes through in the music one creates & replaces that sweet humble touch of the Holy Ghost that was there originally.

Caedmon's Call were the next candidates to make my day, musically speaking, and songs like "Walk With Me" or "Shifting Sand" have a magic to them that doesn't seem to cease. As far as their later productions are concerned, one can also tell that fame and popularity have claimed their dues in that original simplicity and inspiration, although I take my hat off to the guts ... had in singing "I Repent." (Thank you for saying what you did in that song! Where's the studio version?)

Next came Watermark with that voice that puts mega stars like Shania Twain to shame, and the live (?) version of "Knees To The Earth" is a classic that I can imagine still being sung years from now... More of that simplicity would have done it for me!

Jeremy Camp is definitely one of my musical heroes, and I loved his Unplugged DVD/CD with the sweet & simple performance of his wife, coming on stage barefoot... One could definitely tell that those guys' faith is real on that show. There probably is a way to "walk by faith" even when you're incredibly talented and blessed with goods, & I congratulate anyone who gets there. I only wish there would be a little more focus on the lost sheep out there, some of that "missionary" approach, not just singing over and over again to the 99 who are already safely in the fold, but follow the Master out into the dark & cold wilderness to find that one lost sheep...

Finally, Bethany Dillon, aka "Da Fu-chah," or at least a big hope of the future for some, including myself. She has touched my heart more than any of the above with her songs, & it must be that conviction that comes from the heart of such a young person, truly dedicated to God... What I like about her is that she even talks about Bible passages she reads on her Web Journal, and to me that shows that she really lives in the Word, which is the secret of faith. I only pray that she stays true to that devotion & won't allow the cares of this life to choke that seed.

Recently I came across some stuff by Natasha Bedingfield, who apparently has a Christian background, but doesn't allow all too much of those (former?) convictions to shine through in her present stuff, like "Single." I don't want to misjudge the lady, nor begrudge her her fame, (even if it may come across like that), but to me it looks like a typical example of someone for whom fame and popularity have become more important than their faith. According to secular reasoning that may make perfect sense, but who was it that said that faith isn't what it should be unless it's all you've got, or something to that extent? Anyways, that's the kind of faith I'm seeking, and I'm grateful that I haven't been "blessed" with too many distractions on my way there...

It's good to be a nobody. It's almost a bit like being invisible. While all the somebodies are trying so hard to look good for all the people staring at them, nobodies have time to look and see and observe for themselves... and see things many others cannot ... and hear things, too!

God’s mind on the matter

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