Thursday, April 1, 2010

My (R)evolution - the full version

There is a saying that I use that was originally coined (to the best of my knowledge) by the band Fishbone: 'Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe'. That pretty much sums up the entire history of mankind in a nutshell. I would love to stand apart from it and speak of how I am so much better than that, but the fact is, that would just not be the case.

There is a sickness embedded in the head of man that makes him think he is invincible and impervious to the harsh realities of his own nature and life itself. Often this sickness allows him to think a little more highly of himself than he should (in various forms). The music world (on any level) and even Hollywood are littered with such stories. Stick around, and you're bound to see it. They have totally bought into the life, and they are now defined by it. At a certain point, the music (or gift) owns them instead of the other way around. An artist's creation suddenly metamorphosizes into something that is no longer owned by him/her. There are all these expectations and appearances to keep up. Suddenly, it is more about entertainment than sharing art, and it can get pretty brutal.

The story
It goes like this... a driven and passionate person with a clear vision sets out with the greatest intentions (often without solid accountability surrounding him), and over time, suddenly obstacles pop up that hinder that vision. The person becomes so fixated on the prize that when he is faced with options, he chooses to compromise in one little area. Distance is set between the original intention and what is actually going on, and this distance increases more and more. Soon, lines become skewed, and without taking a deep introspective look (or listening to his accountability), the very thing he set out to do becomes something much different than what he set out to accomplish. One becomes lost in his own creation. Funny how intentions work. Something as simple as a gift designed to be shared becomes something more about conquest. Or making a quota. Or attaining another notch in one's belt. And everything changes. Things that used to matter suddenly get pushed aside. To say again, this is the story of man in a nutshell.

My Revolution - what happened?
The earlier paragraphs pretty much sum up the story. With My Revolution, I originally set out to 'bring the message of hope within the church to those outside of its walls', and to some degree, it was effective. (I have had some great experiences to share that message with people I have met along the way.. if only to remind them of their worth, that they matter, and that God loves them exactly where they are and for who they are.) ...And then there's all that other stuff that goes along with playing in clubs. Some people are better at manuevering through the temptations than I.

I have heard more people say (as I used to say), "Church is for weak-minded people." I couldn't agree more. The clubs are as well. One seeks to build up their own. The other is merely trying to make a buck off of the weak-mindedness of others. (In my best Jeopardy voice: "I'll take 'church' for $200, Alex".) If you are a frequent bar-hopper, you can get mad at me all you want. It's okay. Just keeping it real.

Over a year ago, I talked with a girl who worked at a bar that I played at, and apparently, one of her inebriated 'clients' drove out of the bar and was involved in a major accident. I remember the look of guilt on her face. All the while I kept asking myself, "Aren't people like me the ones who get peoples' adrenaline glands pumping so they will buy more and more alcohol? Am I the villain? That is a hard question to ask one's self.

To add to matters, I was able to create a double life that I could typically keep under the radar. However, in those quiet times, my conscience screamed at me, "Something is NOT RIGHT here!" I was battling between a world of integrity and a world that says non-chalantly, "the ends justify the means". I often joked about 'walking in both worlds', but in truth, you can't do that for long. There is a scripture that says, "No man can serve two masters." It is the absolute truth. I found myself at times being disgusted by certain actions and behaviors that I was falling into (which I will refrain from talking about here). Once you have seen 'the life' from an outside perspective, it is hard to return to and find any true happiness in it.

I began to pray about whether to continue it or not. Over the following weeks, the answer became clear. God does not ask us to run full throttle - head to head with the complexities of life. He allows us free-will, but this fast-paced rat race man has created for himself is not the life He designed for us. So as weird as it was, it was time to walk away. Interestingly, as soon as I made the decision, I felt a peace inside. And suddenly new songs popped in my head. A new inspiration. It has been said, "God closes one door and opens another." I believe this is such a time in my life. A new chapter.

So in spite of how this may appear to everyone who doesn't understand my faith or my relationship with Christ, I walk away with a renewed focus. A focus on the grace and love that comes from God alone. And I am happy about it. To all of you who have been understanding (especially my church family and the My Rev family), and to all of you who may not be so understanding, I love you all.


PS. Keep your eyes open, 'cause you never know what to expect in the future. The band project itself may be over, but the 'revolution' continues on. And CD's are still available on iTunes.

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