The hardest part of following Jesus...
The hardest part of following Jesus is following Jesus.
My music history past (see this Relevant Magazine article if you're unfamiliar with that part of my life) always involved the process of building bands. Of helping bands grow. Aiding them in sorting out potential record producers, publicists, booking agents, managers, label idiosyncrasies, and the like. In other words, I was paid to serve creatives.
For the first time in my 44-year old life, I am the artist.
The problem is that I've never envisioned myself as an artist, nor did I ever anticipate being one.
Then, I spent five years living, writing, and editing a book.
Talking about my book is not the objective here. The point is to speak to you about what happens after the book (insert your creative/business project here) launches.
Sooner or later - and it usually is much sooner, than later - the lights go down.
The show is over. All the fans go home, and the screaming comes to an end.
On Tuesday, December 5th (the day I released my book), I felt as if it were my birthday because every few minutes Amazon, my phone, or Facebook would light up with a compliment like:
"Chad is such an inspiring person, and this book shows that in droves."
"Congrats dude! This book is the real deal."
"I devoured it! Buy this book!"
"If Chad's not-so-secret agenda is to provoke the reader to action, mission accomplished."
You get the idea.
Now, it's Wednesday, January 17th, and most of the noise has quieted down.
What do we do, as artists, creatives, ministers, business folk, when the buzz wears off?
If we're not careful, we'll mistake the compliments, kind words, and applause for praise we deserve.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
There is only ONE who is worthy of receiving all our glory—Jesus.
It's essential for me to ask myself, "Did I place my whole-hearted energy into something that the masses celebrate me for, or did I create whole-heartedly to serve others, and especially to bring glory to the King of the Universe - even if in the tiniest of ways?"
Right before Christmas I felt Jesus convicting me to re-surrender my book to Him, to stop focusing so much on the results (which I was aggressively doing) and to begin enjoying the process.
Tim Grahl, who wrote Your First 1,000 Copies, helped remind me that releasing a book (or finishing a project) is just the beginning; like birthing a child. That may seem extreme, but I believe it's accurate.
I encourage you, no matter what you're currently setting your hands to, to enjoy the process by inviting Jesus to use you to serve others well.
Are you dreaming about, planning, creating, managing, or overseeing a project (or projects) with the desire to serve others and bring Jesus glory? Both the process and the results will be immeasurably sweeter when serving is your motivator.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. For this month only, One Thousand Risks is on sale at Amazon for only $5.15 (paperback & Kindle version), $7.49 (audiobook) or $11.66 (Case Laminate hardcover). If you have yet to pick up a copy of One Thousand Risks: Fighting Fear for an Awkward, Awesome Life with Jesus now is a great time.