Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Good to Be Alive

(Edit: The song in the video at the end of this blog is available (for the week of 9/18/12) for free download at klove.com)

So still no internet at my apartment.  I really don't know WHEN that's going to happen, and honestly, I'm not worried about it.  I'm not worried about much of anything right now.  Maybe I should be, especially when I'm pretty much broke and don't know if I'll be able to keep paying my rent.  I'm just kind of at the place where I figure that if financial problems are my biggest problems, then I'm probably doing pretty well.  And even if I have to learn to function without stable internet access in a world that is run by people who have CONSTANT connections to their portable interwebz devices, well, I figure I might even have it better off than a lot of them.  And it's not like I'm destitute.  I drive down the road in a car that does what I want it to most of the time.  Some of my friends have to take the bus just to get to work.  And I could talk about the people who don't even have enough to eat, who live in slavery, etc.  Really, I've got it pretty dang good. 

But even with my current financial problems, I spent a relatively large sum of money on something nonessential the other day.  Lately, I've been really inspired by a lot of songs on KLOVE.  The most recent?  A song by Jason Gray called, "Good to Be Alive."  It's just a song of gratitude and praise--a song that focuses on how much God has given us, and how our response should be to give Him a "life well lived."  As I was listening to it one day, I thought, "This song really speaks to me.  A lot of songs speak to me.  And I have a lot of songs that I've written.  They aren't brilliant at all, but they're songs God's given me to write.  Why in the world am I not doing anything with them, especially when I know God wants me to do something with them."

I'm doing something with them now--taken a few beginning steps.  I've got a lot to learn and a lot to do, but I'm really hopeful that God's going to do some good things in me and through me. 

Anyway, just last week, I heard an announcement on KLOVE that Jason Gray was going to be playing a concert at a church about 45 minutes from where I live.  I don't believe in coincidence, and I knew that I was meant to go to that concert.  But...I had to work the night of the concert.  The concert wasn't expensive, but when I'm counting every single penny, it was more than I could really afford.  So the grown up in me said "You can't go" to the kid in me.

The thing is, the other local Christian radio station started announcing the concert, too.   Every time I turned on the radio, one of Jason Gray's songs was playing.  And I still knew I was meant to go to that concert. 

The day before the concert, I decided that if I didn't try to go, I'd be kicking myself later.  I made some phone calls and really had NO resistence in finding someone to cover my Saturday night shift.  And Saturday night shifts are the least desirable and almost impossible to get covered--especially last minute.  I sucked it up and spent the money on the concert.  And I went to hear Jason Gray sing.

The concert was more like a worship service than anything else.  I was standing there all alone--I couldn't find anyone to go with me, and really, I think that's how it was supposed to be.  Because I was in a room full of complete strangers, yet we were all pulled together by the words God had given Jason Gray to sing.  We were all pulled together by the unity of Christ.  I didn't know a soul in that room, but we were all sisters and brothers, worshipping together.  It was beautiful and freeing.  And during the intermission, I found myself jotting down potential song lyrics--because creativity breeds creativity.  And why shouldn't it?  God created us.  God inspires us to create, too.  I think the best music is the kind that makes me want to sing; the best story is the kind that makes me want to go write.

And after the concert, I spent even more money on a cd--just because Jason Gray's music is honest and inspiring--and I couldn't leave there without it.  Then I went up to where Jason Gray was signing autographs and I shook the man's hand.  I had a brief conversation with him--probably telling him things everyone tells him.  I don't know if I encouraged him at all, but I know I left there encouraged.

Right now, things are good.  I'm broke and still trying to figure out how to stay organized in my jobs...but life is so good.  I've been given so much.  And, yeah, I'm just grateful for the opporutnitiesI have to give, too.  It is good to be alive. 

...and this video is AWESOME: