Yet another draft I composed but never got around to finishing. I’ll try to work on completing this post while taking into account updates for more current information. Regardless, the content is still relevant, and perhaps even more so now. A lot has occurred over these past two years. (Wait… has it really been two years?!?)
[Oct 5, 2015]
Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Though many people prefer to have “fun in the sun”, I’ll take a cloudy, windy, or even rainy day over any typical Summer day. You could only shed so many layers for the heat. As for me, I personally love to bundle up and dress in layers for the colder weather. Not only that, but Fall brings about the holiday season, and with it, seasonal choir at church.
I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve in this ministry for the Lord. I’m grateful that God has granted me the ability to serve in this way and I’m happy to serve in an area that I enjoy. I’m truly grateful that He is using me at bible study and has even seen fit to use me more in the church band and in leading worship for the men’s ministry. I love music and love singing and playing instruments. Despite this love, I often grow skeptical of the usage of my “talents” (for lack of a better term, as I hesitate to call my musical abilities a “talent”. I also hesitate to say that I have “talent” as if to suggest that I’m great at it. Yes, as you can see I’m quite the skeptic when it comes to my musical abilities. But I digress…).
I often wonder if this is the area I ought to serve. If this is where I should be. If this is where God wants me to be. If this is where He wants to use me. If I’m even fit to be serving there. I sometimes question my motivations. Sure, I may not be up there for the same reasons as when I used to “perform” (though I sometimes question what those reasons even were to begin with). Am I doing it to be pleasing merely to men? (Galatians 1:10)
Looking back upon my youth, I can only recall one specific time that I ever uttered the words “I hate you” to someone else. Sadly, that someone else happened to be my own mother. I don’t recall the reason why I said it (though I’m sure it was a foolish one), but I do remember I was probably less than 8 years old. I guess you could chalk it up to the ignorance and idiocy of my youth as I didn’t quite understand nor recognize the sheer weight of those words, let alone their true meaning. My mother was quick to respond in kind with those very words as she left me in my state of anger. I don’t remember if I ever officially apologized for that incident, or if I told her I loved her afterwards, but I do remember the shame and remorse that I felt when I made the attempt to do so.
After watching the freak show that was the 2016 Presidential Election, I must say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so divisive and polarizing to such a large degree in my entire life. I couldn’t help but be amazed not only at the election results, but even more so at the aftermath. Simply watching the social media posts and news articles revealed to me quite the picture of the current state of America. The morning after the results, I saw argument after argument, accusations and blaming, quarreling and division between friends and family, boasting and mockery, bigotry and ignorance, helplessness and hopelessness. We truly are a divided nation.
I’ve recently (well, at the time of this draft, anyhow) had the pleasure of enjoying some time hanging out and catching up with some old friends. They’ve been my friends for a long time and even though we’re not as close as we used to be (which is an unfortunate reality of adulthood), I know I can count on them to be around if I were to need them.
As usual, we got into our old ways, exchanging that old familiar banter, joking around, and recalling old times. While we were going about what I would consider to be “routine” with them, I came to think about my testimony. Among the gathering was an old friend who was recently “born again” (and praise God for this). As some of my other friends brought up jokes which encroach on the broad or even toilet side of humor, I would join in the laughter and crack a few jokes in response here and there as I “normally” do. In that, I noticed that my new “brother” in Christ reacted quite differently than I. I think he was always a guy that didn’t really join the fray on that sort of humor, nor is he really a loud or outspoken person, but his actions there, especially for someone supposedly not too “old” in the faith, spoke volumes to me.
I don’t think there was any point of time in my life where I could attribute myself with “popularity” or “fame” or anything of that sort. I was too negligible to become well-known. I was far too shy and introverted to build up any sort of reputation among my circle of peers. That was pretty much the reality of my existence. Sure, other kids knew I had some degree of artistic ability, but that didn’t really put me on a pedestal or anything. I had the spotlight at times during my singing days, but I was just a placeholder, just another body on the stage. I didn’t quite carry the same weight as my cohorts did, who were all either more well-known or more attractive or more skilled at their craft. I was simply filling the part.
I was merely 友人A (Friend A), a substitute, a stand-in, though of a far less notable role (reference from Your Lie in April, episode 2. Good series, btw)
I grew up with quite a few musical influences. I was an 80’s child, with much of my listening coming from the wide variety of music that my brothers and mother listened to. From Metallica, The Cure, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Kraftwerk, Earth Wind & Fire, the Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson, to the “light rock, less talk” type, I’d say I have been exposed to and consumed quite an interesting smorgasbord of genres. There’s one thing that I can say for certain.