Hey everyone:) I'm writing you from sunny Los Angeles. I have to admit, I've always wanted to go to L.A. and now that wish is fulfilled. Granted, we haven't really spent much time in the city, but mostly in the suburbs. For all intents and purposes, I'll take that as my first time in L.A. I can thank Air1 for the opportunity to tour through California. We're out on the Air1 Appreciation Tour with The Wrecking, The Red Airplanes, and Manic Drive. So far we've done two shows on the tour, and they've both been fantastic. It's always fun to be out on tour and to get to know other bands, and thus far we've been having a great time getting to know all the bands. It's going to be a fun tour.
Now, we did have quite the adventure in getting to California. We drove from Chicago to Denver, Denver to Reno, and then Reno to Sacramento for the first show. That's a lot of gasoline and caffeine folks. I think we've now figured out which gas stations and rest stops have the best coffee. It's always a treat when you find that one place that makes some exceptional Joe. For instance, we stopped at a random gas station in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah that had maybe the best white chocolate caramel mocha I've ever had. We also stopped at a gas station outside L.A. where the gas station attendent was also a barista!!! Yes...we appreciate the little things.
Whereas in previous blogs, I've focused on faith and trust, I'm currently doing a lot of thinking about grace. Truth be told, it's nearly impossible to not think about grace when you basically live in a van with three, sometimes four (band plus merch guy) other guys. We each have our own little quirks and sometimes those quirks don't jive with one or all the guys. You get thrown into this situation and it's very much like a family. So we have to learn to be a family and to get along as smoothly as possible. Sooo, we have to learn to have a lot of grace for each other.
A very valuable lesson that we've learned is that most times when someone isn't in a great mood, it most likely has to do with some outside circumstance. It'd be easy to just get frustrated, but we've begun to find a nice balance of knowing that it's a good idea to ask what's on the mind of the offending person. Nine times out of ten, we find out that there is something on their mind that has nothing to do with the band. Granted, that's not an excuse to be a jerk, but sometimes things end up on your mind, and you just aren't your normal self.
Personally, every time I read the story in John 4 about the woman at the well, I'm reminded about God's grace for us. There Jesus was, with a woman, whom He knew was deep into sin, but rather than condemn her, he spoke to her with respect, and pointed her in the right direction. He was still firm and made His point, but He had no interest in degrading her, or demeaning her. This is one of many examples Jesus left for us during His time on earth, and this is one that rings very true for me personally. I'm not an overly critical person by nature, but I think we all have a tendency to want to be right, to want to prove to someone else that they're being dumb. Sometimes we don't need to do that. We just need to find out what's on their mind, and gently remind them that they are loved, and that we are for them, not against them.