amy courts: en route


The Trappings of the Trade
December 19, 2008, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Music

a_new_direction1

There are things you inevitably learn about yourself as you navigate the fields and forests of your passions and dreams. Both exciting and discouraging truths that dress the path ahead like flower petals for a bride or stones under the toes of a weary traveler.

If you must know, it was never my dream to be a professional touring and recording artist. Granted, I was raised in an unusually musical family who traveled around giving concerts at various churches, etc. And I readily – if with some embarrassment – confess that I spent countless hours in front of a mirror, hair brush in hand, lip-syncing my own video to Michael W. Smith’s “Place in this World” and DC Talk’s “The Hardway” among others.

But it never occurred to me that one day I’d actually be making records like they did and traveling to hundreds of venues to share the songs live and impact lives the way Jennifer Knapp’s live performance changed mine.

So when I jumped into the circus five years ago, with glitter in my eyes and butterflies dancing in my belly, I honestly had no clue what I was diving into. Indeed, we’ve all heard rumors about the role image plays in the lives of entertainers, even – perhaps especially – for those in the Christian market. But it’s become a rather disheartening reality as the years have gone by.

And for those of us who already struggle with body image and have battled self-hate and eating disorders for years, I dare say it’s an even greater obstacle. A true thorn in the flesh.

Still, these struggles, the sifting and navigating through endless forests to come out only to find another straight ahead, produce that promised endurance and faith, the hope and purpose. Between forests, you rediscover passion and decipher detailed purpose…it’s where you find your “calling”; that ever-elusive will of God for your life.

For me, it’s come in the form of a passion for Africa that was planted as a tiny mustard seed and has grown so powerful to overcome want for anything else. Passion for one group of People has morphed into a passion for people in general, for relationship.

And it’s grown from there into a passion for simplicity. A desire to escape the trappings of the road to fame and fortune in favor of a less-traveled path (for artists and audience alike) dusted with scents of selflessness and service, of doing much with little to make an eternal impact, if utterly unnoticed on earth. A path along which travelers are more interested in knowing than being known, in falling into a role of support and carriage rather than a role of fame and celebrity.

I don’t want fame or fortune or anything of the sort. It’s not what I seek, and it boils in my veins when I’m told it ought to be. I only to pass on passion for Good and Truth. To join with Christ in the building of a generation who’ll serve the next and the next after that. To find where God is working and dig into the dirt to plant seeds and dig wells, rather than waiting and hoping for Him to join in my missions. If lived for anything less, my life is lived in vain.

It’s not a popular opinion. I’ve met many a friendly supporter whose lone goal is to shake me from my lunacy and re-set my focus on the “right” things…like “enlarging my audience” and “getting my face in front of as many people possible” and compromising not only passion but art for the sake of a “Brighter” future. They long for me to set my gaze on the American dream, and make promises that with what talent I’ve been given, I can certainly do it!

They fail to understand that, at heart, I’m not an American. Not by blood; only by location. I’m a Christian by blood, and my home is elsewhere.

So their banter has only steadied my foothold and hardened my resolve to continue doing what I’m doing, chasing the heavenly dreams I’ve been given, trusting that if I join in God’s work, the stage and audience will grow, because He is the One who gave me a song, a voice, a stage, a passion, a promise, and a purpose within His plans that will come to pass.

Surely He will provide the intended audience and take me where I’m meant to go…providing everything I’ll need along the way.

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1 Comment so far
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Those are excellent thoughts. Go where God is leading you. God’s best for you doesn’t always mean the most logical, the most business-smart, or the most convenient. Jesus frequently gave instructions that made no sense to the people receiving them, let alone the people around them who thought they were crazy for following said instructions. The more that time goes on, the more I am beginning to think that perhaps I have been making a mistake looking for the one magic venue or career path that happens to incorporate all of my personality, giftedness, hopes and dreams in their fullest. Maybe God is capable of using me effectively without His needing all the wonderful things I have fooled myself into thinking I personally bring to the table. Maybe all He wants are willing hearts and hands.

Comment by Rob in Gallup




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