For those of you who don’t know, I am a fan of the band Rush. As far as I’m concerned (and I know) many will disagree, they are the greatest band in the history of Rock and Roll. Today I watched them say “Good-bye.” They have retired from touring and possibly completely. Over the course of their last tour, they recorded a documentary called Time Stand Still, chronicling their 40 year career as a band. Maybe it’s because I am a huge fan, but I found it to be quite touching and a great tribute to a great band.
The thing that struck me the most was seeing these guys who I have followed since I was a 16 year old high school junior, a long, long, long time ago, dealing with a major life transition. They started this band when they were 15 years old. Looking at the credits, I realized that these life-long friends have kept many of the same people that have been with them since the beginning. This is more like an extended family than a band and all of the sudden they are at the end trying to figure out what to do next for the first time in a long time.
True, they don’t have to do anything. They’ve had a long and stories career that includes being inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, but they’re artists and that’s not the kind of thing you quit. Many of you can relate, I know I can. One other thing that I saw was their reason for retirement. They simply have come to the point of realizing they can’t do the quality of music, (especially the drummer, Neil Peart) for the rest of their lives and so they decided to go out when they were still at the top of their game. I can respect that as well.
There was something else. More than just about the band, this documentary was about their relationship with their fans. Their fans are extremely loyal. There were people in the video that had seen the band live well over 100 times. (I’ve “only” seen them eight times.) Listening to these people talk, I came away realizing something, they matter to the band, and the band matters to them. The work that they’ve done matters to the people that love their work. It made me wonder “Does my work matter?” Maybe you’ve asked that question too.
Notice I didn’t say “Do I matter.” My wife, kids, family and especially my Lord proved that a long time ago, but what about my work? Does it matter? Now I’m not looking for the kind of scale that Rush has achieved. They took their path and they did their work and they have reaped their benefits. No what I want to know is does my work matter to the people who love what I do. Does what I am doing matter to the people who take the time to read it, buy it and listen to it. Am I a blessing to the people who give me their most valuable of resources, their time. I want to bring my best to everything I do, and when I can no longer do it, I want to lay it aside.
Time doesn’t stand still, no matter how much we’d like it to. The best thing I can do is work hard and finish well. That’s the best you can do too.
Here’s their song, Time Stand Still, just because.