I woke up this morning after having a really frustrating nightmare. A co-worker was purposely trying to annoy me with loud music, loud phone conversations, knocking stuff over on my desk, flirting, giggling, etc. I think I woke up right at the point when I had just begun the physical altercation which would end in her demise.
I had so much rage! My jaw was popping from grinding my teeth so hard and my heart was racing. Racing so much I was a bit alarmed and physically uncomfortable. I was wondering if this is what having a heart attack in your sleep was like. Would I have a vivid nightmare to go along with the trauma in my chest?
Of course my heart and ultimately, I calmed down. And I began to seek the Lord. Truthfully, there had been a big stressor that occurred last night shortly before bedtime which could easily be the source of my intense dreams. Nights like that lead to mornings like this and mornings like this lead to introspection, soul searching and prayer.
As I write this, my first blog of 2013, I am convinced that I have heard the voice of the Lord and He has revealed the itch in my heart.
For all the gregarious flamboyance that is not only the personality of my art and ministry, but also my disposition as well, like most people, I crave a quiet life. My definition of quiet life is one where I am free to roam about whatever city I’m in and do my small part to contribute to God’s work on Planet Earth with as little opposition and judgment as possible.
I am convinced that I should be able to create music, do my performances, make movies, and preach as much as I do without incident. As public as all of that is, for me it’s a private affair that others get to witness. As foolish as it sounds, I’m always surprised by the attention I get-especially criticism.
Not that I expect everyone to like me.
I’m simply surprised that people take the time to communicate disdain of any kind. Especially people who are closest to me. Not friends, mind you as my friends (relationships I have cultivated though time) are people who understand the Big Picture Of Paisley. My friends are people that understand that for me to have success I must experiment constantly and ultimately make mistakes along the way.
My friends are there to put major-seeming events into perspective so I can get back to the work at hand: trying continually to find new, creative and expressive ways to communicate my relationship with Christ to others. And to channel His understanding of them to them as well.
This is no small task and even no smaller responsibility.
Ministry, admit it or not, tends to be a people-pleasing industry and this is something I battle within myself daily. I want you to like me because I think if you like me, you’ll hear me better. Sadly, this is where my nightmare comes into play. Jesus did not run around trying to win friends and get compliments. He did not ask to be loved. He said it was an essential for our salvation to love Him.
As I take Jesus to the masses-especially with my oft times dark and acerbic approach-I must constantly remind myself that it’s the long haul of a life’s work that will change the world not merely “tonight” and the people I win over.
My work is honest and clear. It’s transparent and vulnerable. And it’s on display, for free, for the whole world to scrutinize forever more. People that are truly seeking answers to the itch in their heart will easily see a thread of salvation and hope through the majority of my songs and sermons. People looking for another Christ to crucify will find all the fodder they need for their next victim.
I love my life. I love my work. Because I love my God.
Jesus never kissed ass. Paul never kissed ass. Neither do I.
I genuinely love the souls I am presented with and anyone who takes the time to know me THROUGH MY WORK sees that. Every pore in my body cries out for revival, change and peace amongst God’s people. But we are flesh and flesh seeks its own.
Too often I allow people into my life (the work space of yesterday’s nightmare) who are loud, annoying, clumsy, selfish, flirty and obnoxious. I do this to try to win their souls for Christ and/or help them wrangle their flesh unto obedience to Him.
I think for 2013 I will not do this. I think I will merely speak and live the Truth and not suffer “co-workers” not really there to get the job done.
I’m working on three new records at once, have dozens of shows planned, movies in the works and, of course, blogs to write. Maybe it’s time to admit that this is enough. Maybe it’s time to admit that I desire the rest of my life to be quiet. Maybe it’s time to dismiss the troublemakers from the work place or allow them to self-destruct with their weird religious-ness while I stay focused on the amazing, satisfying and productive work that God has placed in front of me.
I think it’s time to kick the devil out of my office, don’t you?
Hmm… my heart’s racing again. Imagine that!