Archive for October 3, 2017

I awoke yesterday to hear of the tragic murders at the country music festival in Las Vegas and went to bed hearing that Tom Petty, an artist from my formative years was taken off life-support. It was a dark day in the arts. People will spend the next days and weeks trying to find out why, but the truth is some things will never be known. Why does a man gather firearms to gun down people as they enjoy what should be a positive experience? Some will scream for more gun legislation, but the truth is people bent on breaking the law will not be stopped by more laws, over 50 people’s lives were stolen in a storm of anger, hatred and senseless violence. “Why?” doesn’t begin to cover it.

At the other end we may be tempted to ask the question how a fairly young (66) musician who brought so many people so much joy passed away so suddenly. We’ll never understand that either. Both of these tragic events brought to mind a conversation I had with an artist friend of mine last week. My friend is a brilliant artist and something has happened. I can’t describe it other than to say the Lord is rewarding his faithfulness, by making his talent explode. He was good before, but his work seems to have moved to an even higher level. I encouraged him to begin trying to get in the galleries. Through the course of our discussion, he said he wasn’t sure how to go about l of that, but he didn’t want to be one of those artists who died with a garage full of paintings. It was then that I made a comment that may not have come from my mind. I said, “Better in the garage than in your head.”

Right now you might be wondering what these stories have in common. Simply this, life is short and really unpredictable and the time to create, use your gifts and act on the visions and ideas God gives you is now. My friend may not know everything about how to get his work out to a waiting world, but faithfulness demands that we act on what God gives us, when He gives it. If we hold back until we have all the answers, we may miss a crucial moment. Tomorrow is not a guarantee.Too many things are our of our control. The time to create in this unpredictable world is now.

On a side note…
My friend Bill and I were together at his house in Ohio last week. He wanted to show me some videos on his amazing TV and sound system. He shared a DVD from one of his favorite bands The Traveling Wilburys. If you’re not familiar it may be the greatest super group of all time. Comprised of George Harrison of the Beatles, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynn (ELO), Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. During the period of time when they were making the videos for the album, Roy Orbison passed away. In the video for their song End of the Line, they put Roy’s guitar on a rocking chair as a tribute to their fallen friend. Since the making of the video, George Harrison passed away and now Tom Petty. I share this video as a tribute to a great performer and songwriter.

We never know when it’s the end of the line, so make your best art now.