No, not the movies or the television series. Not the rye whiskey. Not the various businesses or songs. Not even the most awesome song by Max Webster off the 1978 “Mutiny Up My Sleeve” album.
No, this is possibly best summed up by The Cambridge Dictionary as simply “to say that you agree with something but do nothing to support it”. Yeah, or maybe just “all talk and no action”. Why, you might wonder, is this a topic for a post here? Well it’s one of those life and faith lessons that, when you least expect it, smacks you hard in the face.
This whole post began with music, And maybe that’s where it ends. But for now, it started there.
Oh and by the way, since this is a disjointed train of thought, that video of “Lip Service” by Max Webster led me down this path of rediscovery including the song Battlescar (an awesome song featuring Rush, which I was privileged to see MW open for Rush and the guys in Rush joined MW onstage to play the song – AWESOME)
and also their song Waterline (which I absolutely and always have loved the tempo and bass line) and this is what I’m listening to as I pound out the letters on my Mac keyboard to compose this rambling lunatic bloviation. For what that’s worth.
Okay, so we start with music.
I am not and never have been a superbly amazing musician. Seriously, let’s be honest. Yes I don’t give myself enough credit at times, I admit, but I am no Kim Mitchell (Max Webster) or Alex Lifeson (Rush) or Ty Tabor (King’s X) or (insert name here). I have been, and maybe could regain again, pretty decent. As a guitarist that is. Maybe the same level on drums as well, even though I haven’t played them much for a while. An okay writer of certain styles of music. A pretty decent band leader and organizer. Anyway, not to belabor this point, or maybe I have already. Bottom line is, talent or the lack of aside, my life has pretty much revolved around music until I was injured and sidelined a couple of years ago. I believe for the most part I am now healed, or at least as much as I can be, missing some tendon strands in my left wrist. And I’ve been starting to play and test the boundaries of what I can do. I’m very fortunate in that for the most part the residual wrist pain from playing now is tolerable if not just fairly minor. A blessing from YHWH from whom all blessings flow. Now it’s up to me to rebuild those callouses and try to regain the lost chops. Not a simple or pleasant task, yet one I must do and is underway.
At the end of this trail however I need (is that too strong of a word?) to play.
You would think there may be opportunity aplenty here in Brown County to play which there is for bluegrass and country and acoustic stuff, none of which is me. There’s a little blues down here too, which I could possibly fit in to, but not a lot of opportunity. So I’ve put out some feelers to “the guys”, past and present, near and far, about playing. Regroup, new group, what ever. Let’s play. I realize playing today, like we did then, still sounds like a great idea, to the part of our brain that still thinks we’re still 30. So we say “yes, let’s”. And in all honesty I truly am willing and wanting in spite of the aches and pain. And dare I say, even needing to play?
Here’s The Frustration
Before I continue let’s be very clear. There is no pointing fingers, or hate, or angst, or what ever you want to call it taking place here. With that said and hopefully clear (please my brothers don’t take this personal), the response has been, generally, “yeah, let’s do it”. There are some who say something to the effect of I can’t physically do that any more. I get it. We’re none of us what anyone would mistake as young any longer. I completely respect that answer. But it’s the “yeah let’s do it”‘s, and virtually all of those are followed with something like “once blah blah blah happens or gets resolved or you name it”. Yeah, I know. We aren’t young and stupid and willing to “live for music” any longer. Okay, but when I was the most active, playing all the time, in more than one band, 3-4 days/nights a week, while working a job, I was already in my late 30’s and 40’s. By most standards, too old to be doing that. Sure things hurt now that didn’t then and the idea of playing til 3am doesn’t sound so fun now. BUT… we’re not going to get any younger or feel better than we do now.
The level of frustration, and sense of lacking a purpose, has been overwhelming. For the moment it would seem that if I do work up my rusty chops and build those callouses and bear the pain of arthritis in my hands for the joy of playing again, it will all be for naught as my musical buds all seem to be content to toss in the towel and never play again because life hurts (or some other malady or situation). Oh the frustration and in a sense, desperation.
The REAL Lip Service – SMACK!
Then a few days ago it hit me. This is how YHWH, THE LORD, our GOD, must feel with us. How He certainly must feel with me!!! For my lip service. Proclaiming my love and devotion. And then NOT acting upon those easily spoken words. Is the speaking of the words insincere? Not at all. Yet how easily are we distracted by life, by desires, by whims, by weather, by tragedy, by television, by politics, by music, by everything except a focused desire to live out those words. Why? Why do we allow every insignificant moment in life take precedence over serving our Father in heaven? They can push aside prayer time and reading His word. Of course sin is the answer. Pride in many cases. The pride in placing our agenda higher than His. We can even convince ourselves that our focus is serving Him. We know in the deepest recesses of our hearts how badly we want what we want and then at times justify it by saying YHWH wants it. What sort of mindless, self centered idiots are we? The harsh reality is that everything we have or strive for in this life must yield to Him, at all times and in all ways. Nothing else has a greater importance in this world.
I can almost hear His sigh. I can almost feel His disappointment. Uggghhhh.
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