I left off in my last blog sharing some things about how incredibly long this journey has been. It has been a serious endeavor of mine for 12 years. And let me stress, 12 REALLY long years! If you know anything about the music industry, you can appreciate that struggle. In the music industry, an artist is considered 'over the hill' in terms of getting their big break about the age of 25! That age might actually be a little too high because in all honesty it's probably closer to the 22 age mark now. So, if you are over 30, it literally takes a miracle to get you through the door. But, as many of you know, God is not so much concerned about age as he is spiritual maturity. And let me just put it this way, I had a lot of growing up to do before God would allow me to step into this calling.
Today I just want to give you some tips about how to walk through those long, sometimes lonely, development years. First of all, Jesus said in Luke 14:28 that we should count the costs before we decide to build something. I meet and teach a lot of teens that know they want to do music for the rest of their lives and they have huge dreams just like I did. I don't want to discourage them the way that I was but I do want them to have a healthy view of what their dream is and what it isn't. They should know up front that it is going to be a long, difficult road to travel but not impossible. It will take hard work and consistency and repeatedly getting out of your comfort zones. The fulfillment of the dream may look different that what was first envisioned. It probably won't be red carpet and limo's awaiting you at your gigs. Sometimes you will have to stand on your own two feet without others helping you. It's not easy, but if the dream is truly God-inspired, it is possible through God's power. So remember to count the costs before you dive in head first to your dream. It will cost you something, actually it will probably cost you everything. I put all of my resources into my dream to get me where I am today. It didn't just cost money, it cost time and lots of energy.
Secondly, take as much time as necessary to develop your gifts, talents and abilities. Don't mistakenly assume that you already know everything about what you are good at. I'm telling you, for every 'great' singer out there singing, there are probably thousands of 'good' ones. So what does that mean exactly? It means that our aim is to be great at something, not just good. People respect greatness and appreciate the time it took you to get there, and they are willing to pay you for your services. It's not a competition, but you owe it to yourself, the Lord and the audiences that you will be performing for to give them your absolute best. I invested thousands of dollars in vocal lessons, some guitar lessons, songwriting conferences and countless hours writing and rehearsing those songs.
Lastly, don't get in a hurry! That's hard not to do in our fast food, microwave society. We get mad if we have to wait at a red light more than 2 minutes or if the waiter isn't at our table within a few minutes of being seated, right? But the truth is, God has a season for everything and waiting serves its purpose in developing our character. Not only do our physical abilities and talents have to be developed but our spiritual walk must be as well. We have to be ready and able to handle the life that comes along with the dream God has given us. The character must be strong enough to withstand the constant pressure. Enjoy your life, right where you are. God will provide the opportunities that you are ready for and as you grow, the opportunities will as well.