What Sustains Me? How Do I Do it All?
"For years I've always been in awe of your energy to get things done; to devote time to your family, your touring, your recordings, your church, etc... How do you have so much energy? What do you think it is that sustains your energy?"
I thought about it for a moment, and here's how I answered...
Wow, what a question. It's nice to know that I am perceived this way.
I don't know that you'll like my answer as it's going to sound a little cliche... but really, it's a God thing.
Everything I do in music really is an expression of my faith ultimately. I see myself as a servant of the Most High King... I believe that God has given me certain gifts... music yes, but also the gifts of administration, marketing, communication, writing and even theater (my performances). And since I believe God designed me specifically to do these things, I feel like these things are a part of my "purpose." And so in applying myself to this purpose... in doing the very thing that I know God designed me to do... it brings me joy and peace. And it's that joy that keeps me going.
But sometimes, it can still be a struggle to stay motivated when I am doing things that don't obviously seem to be a part of my "purpose." Because the reality is, God uses all kinds of things to bring us into His will for us... and sometimes they are not obvious. I mean, when I spent ten years working at Symantec doing customer support and quality assurance work, I didn't really feel like I was working in my gifts (well, I was, but not in the way *I* wanted to), and yet God used those years to mold me into who I am now.
So really, I find that a lot of my prayer time is asking God to lead me, and to give me patience to wait for Him to reveal his plan for me, because I don't always see it. And being content in all things, in all situations, bad and good, is not an easy thing to do. But the longer I live, and the more of my life that I have lived, the more I look back and see how God used everything (even what I perceived as bad) to bring me to where I am now... and so that strengthens my faith. And seeing that also gives me the strength to keep on going.
Each day that we have is a gift from God. Every moment we have with our family is a gift. And so in all things, I try and take those gifts and give them back to God. And doing that requires an heart of thankfulness... and I also think it takes a humble heart... one that is willing to submit to God, to yield to Him and to simply say "Thank you, forgive me for my selfish ways... give me patience, wisdom, and help me to conform to your purpose."
I could say so much on this topic... I am typing stream of conscious here a little bit... but I hope that it makes sense.
To sum it up... I have a lot of joy in what I do because I see God's purpose in it and because I try to give every moment back to God in thankfulness. And the more I see God's hand in my life, the more that encourages me to keep on going, even when I feel like I sometimes don't have the physical (or emotional) strength to do so. And if I fall down on one particular day (more days than I like), I just start over again the next one, because God's mercies are new every morning... and even if I am not always faithful to do what I'm supposed to, God is always faithful to do what He does.
As a follow up to this...
Check out Ephesians 2: 1-10, but especially verse 10, which speaks to this...
I particularly like the NASB translation...
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
It reflects the idea that one, we are crafted carefully by God (as an artist would design his masterpiece), designed specifically for doing the good works that God prepared for us to do before we were even born...
So as God's artwork, I think we are happiest when we do the things He crafted us to do.
If you think of it that way, with God being a great artist who designed us for a specific purpose, you can see why if we deny His existence (or even just ignore Him) and go our own way and chase after our own selfish desires without any thought for Him, it leads to not only eventual unhappiness, but also a great feeling of loneliness and emptiness that we have a hard time filling.
When we are out of His purpose for us, we are completely out of sorts... because we are going at it alone and because I believe innately....subconsciously... we realize we are actually out of step with God's design for us... but we don't want to admit to it because we want to serve ourselves with earthly pleasures. So truly, without Jesus we are "lost," wandering aimlessly from one thing to another... filling our soul with empty things... like blind men.
So right now... I'm going to go and submit to my purpose, which at this moment is practicing the piano!