Right now we’re cruising through the countryside of Oklahoma. For a state that seemingly has only a few large cities, their attendance at shows is striking. We’ve probably played in Oklahoma five times in the last few months, and we’ve been impressed with the turnout each of those shows. Kudos to you Oklahoma!
It really is a sad that day on a tour that you realize that it’s soon coming to a close. We’re obviously at that point, as we only have one show left this time around. We’ve bonded so well with the bands on this tour, that we’re going to dearly miss them once we go our separate ways. We live in Nashville, The Wrecking lives in Portland, Maine, The Red Airplanes live in Beumont, Texas, and Manic Drive lives in Toronto. That kind of makes it difficult to meet up for coffee every now and again. I’m sure in time we’ll all see each other again, and God willing we’ll have the opportunity to tour again.
I do need to make sure that we thank Air1, Compassion International, and Extreme Faith as we’ve been really impressed how well they’ve come together to run the tour. We’ve seriously been honored to be on a tour that was supported, organized, and run by all of those fine folks. Speaking of Compassion International...the amount of support that we’ve seen on this tour for Compassion has been amazing. Over the last few weeks we’ve literally seen hundreds of folks sign up to support kids through Compassion International, which has made all of the bands extremely happy. If you aren’t familiar with their organization, you owe it to yourself to go to their website and find out what their ministry is all about. They really have something special going on there.
Something that I’ve had on my heart to write about the last couple months has to do with the gifts and talents that God has given us, what we are doing with them. Now, I have, in short, touched on it a little bit before, but I want to continue to encourage you guys in your talents. I’ve met a lot of kids on this tour and I’ve managed to chat with a few about life. One thing that has struck me is how few of them have really been encouraged in their strengths. Most of these kids are at that age where they are really starting to grow into adult-hood and they’re looking to the future and to what they might be doing with their lives. It saddens me to think that a lot of them are just settling for what’s easiest and right in front of them, all the while they are wishing that they could be doing something else. I recognize that not everyone can do what they dream of, but most do have the opportunity, if they’re looking for it, to grow their strengths and gifts in such a way that at some point they will be able to take advantage of those gifts. God has given us those gifts, and he wants us to use them. Look no further than the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-29.
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talen, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have fained five more.’ His master replied, ‘ well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will puyt you in charge of many things. come and share your master’s happiness!’
The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.’ Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard mand, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. His master replied, ‘You lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you shoud have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have na abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”
God wants to use your gifts and talents. That’s why you have them!!! Don’t be afraid to tell people where you feel like your gifted, even if it isn’t well developed at this point. I couldn’t have just told someone, “I think I could be a guitarist, put me in a band!” That couldn’t work. I had to practice and work at it, and earn my way into a position to possibly be able to do what I’m doing now. Just as the parable shows, God wants to see us working and improving our talents, and for us to not let them go to waste. Sometimes, all it takes is a small step in the direction of sharing with someone that you would like to learn more about writing books, or about arts and crafts, or how to play piano, or any number of things. You might be surprised where that small step leads you. Sometimes the most simple of decisions can change the course of our lives in a big way. What if one of those decisions changed it for the better?