As I (Allen) am writing, I’m realizing that this post constitutes the 100th post on God and Gigs.
But it doesn’t feel like it.
Those that live to see 100 years of age can look back over decades of memories. Cities or institutions that have survived the century mark can celebrate their history and accomplishments. But what can this lowly author do to commemorate 100 posts, written during eight years of learning and growing as a faith-centered creative?
I’m sure you’re not interested in a drawn-out testimony on the struggle to build a blog and writing business – nothing could be more boring than that!
However, if you’re like me, you are interested in figuring out how to improve your life. And there’s no better way to improve than to learn from your own experiences. So, in a not-so-private reflection, I’ll summarize 5 lessons that I’ve learned in the course of writing the first 100 posts on this blog. They will resonate with those of us in music and the arts, but they apply to any profession in which you have to embrace change. (This will be a little longer than our average article, but I think a centennial post deserves a bit more attention.)
Here are the five things writing 100 posts has taught me.
You are not alone.
You really don’t know what’s coming next.
Great relationships outlast position-ships.
Major dreams take major time.
God’s promises are more reliable than you are.
Let’s look at these lessons one at a time.
- You are not alone. 8 years ago when I began writing, I was sure that I was a lone wolf in the world of music. A classically trained musician playing jazz; a conventional pianist playing organ; a Lutheran-raised Christian in a Baptist church; a pop-loving musician in a gospel-heavy culture. However, the more I stepped out of hiding and into my true calling, the more people I met that also once thought they were alone. I’ve grown to recognize that, while we’re unique as artists, we also share much more than we realize. The God and Gigs community exists because we recognize the value in connecting with people who share similar stories. Don’t assume you’re alone in the struggles and decisions you have to make. Seek out the advice and friendship of other artists who are willing to be themselves. You’ll never know unless you try. (I don’t think it’s selfish to mention here that joining our newsletter is a great way to start.)
- You never really know what’s coming next. There is no way I could have told you when this blog started that I would be writing consistently, with a book released on Amazon, playing performances all around my city and connecting with artists around the country. My plans were made, all right – but they weren’t God’s plans. Every artist fears getting stuck in a place where you aren’t fulfilling your calling – but in a way, your calling is never really settled until you leave this planet. Things can change in a moment, and what you thought you wanted won’t be what you want anymore. Always remember that God’s thoughts are higher, more complete, and better planned than yours – and expect the unexpected in your life.
Great relationships outlast position-ships. Making up the word ‘position-ships’ seemed a bit corny, but it describes my former mindset perfectly. When this blog started, I believed my position wasn’t just settled; it was supposedly my final destination. However, as my position and career changed dramatically, the strongest relationships formed in those areas never wavered. The quality of the friendships was proven when my position was altered. Their commitment to me did not change when my location changed. Seek to find true friendships that are not based on where you work, but instead on the person you are.
- Major dreams take major time. The completion of God and Gigs: Succeed as a Musician without Sacrificing your Faith came after five years of straining to define my dream for this project. If I had kept my original plan, the book would have been done in months. But the more I invested into the project, the longer it took to finish. As my dream grew more in-depth, the time it took to accomplish it increased. Looking back, this reality should have been obvious, but perhaps you too have been frustrated by your dream’s slow progress. Maybe you haven’t realized that the bigger your dream gets, the longer it should take. As a friend of mine said years ago, bigger airplanes need longer runways. Keep pushing toward your goals even when your goal seems to be getting farther away instead of closer. It’s proof that your dream is growing.
- God’s promises are more reliable than you are. Over the last 100 posts, I’ve had many starts and stops. Sometimes I would post consistently for weeks, only to fall off and leave my audiences (tiny as it was back then) languishing. The same could be said for music – I can bet we all have a thousand incomplete ideas for every song that we finish writing or arranging. But God’s promises aren’t stop-and-start. When He gave me the vision for this project, he also set a plan in motion that wasn’t based on my consistency, but rather on his reliability. Now, that doesn’t mean I was right in being half-committed, but it does mean God is always fully committed. So if you have a promise from him, you can count on it – even when you’re afraid to count on yourself.
These five lessons will continue to guide me through the next 100 posts, should God allow me to write them, as we together seek to strengthen our treasured relationships, improve our artistic careers, and deepen our faith.
fairly very confident they will do the same for you.
Your turn: What lessons have you learned in the last eight years? Is there an important concept you’ve learned from reading these posts? Share it below in the comment section!