In this life you have to WORK. Nobody gives you anything in this life. Today more than ever as I am entering the “mid thirties” I am constantly challenged by the young generation coming up. I have suddenly been put in the position of “mentor” and I feel the weight of that responsibility on a daily basis. On one hand I have privileged position of leading Building429…. and all of it’s followers. Many a late night conversation amongst Aaron, Jesse, Mike and I, has turned to what we should be telling all of the younger musicians who have great dreams and aspirations and are looking to us for encouragement. One the other hand I have Grace Community Church, and many a conversation has been batted around by Dustin, John Mark, and I (the staff leaders of the worship department) about the exact same subject. While sitting at Starbucks in a planning meeting the other day Dustin and I were talk about a particular young person who is struggling… and I said “I just hope that they understand that achieving dreams isn’t just about working hard, but it’s about SACRIFICE as well.” Dustin shrugged off a smile and said, “Any fool can work hard, but chasing down a dream is about sacrifice“. I thought, dang that’s pretty profound…. but to take it further, it’s about calculated sacrifice.
Think about it, hard work is the GIVEN. That’s gonna happen whether it’s hard work doing something you like, or something that you hate… especially if you plan on providing for your family in a Godly manner. The path that leads to your dream job is very similar in terms of the work you have to put in, what’s different is what you’ll have to give up to make it happen.
Think about it…. you want a career in music, but as I’ve stated before a career in music takes 10 years to solidify. At 25 while you’re struggling to pay your bills with your fledgling career in your dream field you decided it’s time to get married, buy a house, a couple of cars and start having kids…. well you didn’t sacrifice anything… you have it all now… and you have to PAY FOR IT ALL NOW, therefore God is going to have to replace your dream with a dream of His own for you. One that includes a normal job with security for your family.
If you were really sold out to a career in whatever field that you love…. you would’ve made a calculated sacrifice to continue the pursuit right? Maybe you would’ve passed on the house? Or tried being a little more focussed on planning your families growth? Maybe you wouldn’t have bought that awesome car? That’s sacrifice.
Let me clarify… sacrifice is NEVER MAKING YOUR FAMILY SUFFER. I also find it hard to ever say that you should sacrifice any relationship on the alter of selfish pursuits. No, sacrifice is delaying self gratification for a greater goal. Too many people think that as soon as they walk across the stage and get a college degree they should be handed a 100K job, but that is an unreal expectation. Half of the problem with our countries current fiscal crisis is the fact that so many people go out at 30 and buy on credit what their parents bought on cash from hard work and sacrifice at 50. Many a mid-life crisis is based on this very principal… they never sacrificed and so suddenly at 45 they are filled with regret that they didn’t chase their dreams and that they settled for corporate work…. they go bonkers trying to relive a childish dream that has long since passed them by. If you have a wife, and kids the dream that you should be chasing now is THEM!
Aaron came on the bus after a show recently and told me about a conversation that he had with a worship pastor and this conversation illustrates my point. The worship pastor came to him and said “Hey man, how does that whole traveling on the road with a family thing work for you… I’ve been thinking about trying to do that” Aaron’s response was PERFECT. He said:”Don’t do it man…. All you see is the big bus, the big show, the fans and the fun. What you don’t see is the 10 years of incredibly hard work and SACRIFICES we had to make to be here. We made this happen when we were younger and single. Our wives met us and loved who we were and accepted that this lifestyle was what we were called to before we were ever married. We didn’t have children until our career solidified and we could actually afford to take care of them. Most of us drove 1 car for the first 5-6 years of our marriage while we lived in tiny apartments and struggled to pay the bills. God has been good to us and He’s honored the sacrifices by allowing us now to afford a bus, and houses and families, but that was never a guarantee for us.” I thought GOOD FOR YOU AARON!!!! I was so proud, because he could’ve given that guy the “anybody can do it” talk, but so many “anybody can do it’s” end up as a “I wish I wouldn’t have done that” divorce and brokeness stories. Why? Because the sacrifice was made on the back of a family that wasn’t constructed to handle that stress from the beginning. Some people would be frustrated with Aaron and his response and say that he is a “DREAM KILLER”…. I say Aaron was a “DREAM SAVER”, because again, the family is truly THE DREAM .
Amazing isn’t it that Building429 used to be the DREAM for Aaron, Mike, Jesse, and I… and now the dream we are chasing is the life that we desire with our families. You look at us and say we are living the dream for a completely different reason than we do. We live the dream because we are able to provide for, love and care for amazing wives and children…. just like you should be doing…. the only difference is in the calculated sacrifices we made along the way to be able to do something we love that provides for the ones we love!