Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Doing life, with excellence...for the glory of God

Sirius has this Led Zeppelin channel. 24/7.

It's hard to argue with Led Zeppelin as the greatest rock and roll band ever. If you google search best drummer all time, best basist all time and best guitarist all get No. 1, No. 3, and No. 9 other band comes fact, no other band has any two members in the Top 10.

I remember working construction one summer and the guy I was working with says..."you like the Stones, The Who, or Pink Floyd?" I said I like Zeppelin...he says..."everyone likes Zeppelin, but what about the other three, who's best?" Basically saying, the discussion was going to be over second place.

Even my 11 year old son recognizes excellence. He says, "Dad, I'm not sure I like it all, but that drummer is REALLY good."

Which led me to think, about a lot...

Almost all of the Top 10's are train wrecks personally...strung out on drugs, suicides, families a name it.

Could someone lead an abundant life in Christ, and pursue excellence in this venue? And, as a parent, would you even encourage it?

I mean seriously, your kid is the next John Bonham (who died at 32 after drinking 16 shots of vodka, leaving a wife and two kids behind)...would you encourage it? When you think through what it takes to be the very best "worldly" whatever (in this case Rock and Roll Drummer), you crash smack into arenas that compromise your convictions...just play out the reality...

So there lies the question...being in the world, but not of the world, is it too hard to do with excellence? Can you get worldly results as a lawyer, businessman, politician...rock star...without comprimising your convictions? Does God even care about whether you are the best lawyer or drummer? Should we care?

You see where I'm at...have at it.


Blogger Cletus said...

Exhibit A: John Wooden

2:47 PM

Blogger Hollywood said...

Ok, You get the "Best Basketball Coach" ever on your list of "guys who got there, and weren't a train wreck"....

I've already given you John Bonham.

I'll counter with Michael Jordan and Jimmy Hendricks and Tiger Woods.

I'll give you 3 for one every time.

Now...address the real issue...Does God care whether we reach the pinacle of the world or not?

4:00 PM

Blogger Cletus said...

Hollywood, I don't think God is concerned about us reaching the pinnacle of the world. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

Hollywood, I think you could give me ten to my one...every time regarding superstars who weren't a train wreck, but wasn't Hendrix a train wreck?

8:05 PM

Blogger Brent said...

Exhibit B: Bono.
Exhibit C: Jimmy Stewart.
Exhibit D: Dr. Suess.
Exhibit E: Tom Hanks.

I don't think it's necessarily getting to the pinnacle or not, but rather recognizing how you got there. Usually, the ones that are train wrecks would've been train wrecks in any station in life, whether they'd made it or not. Same for those that have "balance." They'd have balanced lives if they were blue collar or no collar. So, if you understand that the stuff is just stuff when you get there you won't take it too seriously. Business folks are the same in the book Good to Great. Good folks with good character just need a seat on the bus, right? Bad folks with no character, no matter how talented, will throw it away, right? It's been a while since I read that book, but that was one of the takeaways I got from it.

8:08 PM

Blogger Brent said...

To answer some of your questions: Can you get worldly results? Yes. But it is harder for the rich man to get into the Kingdom, right? Camel and eye of the needle, right? But, sure, you can be an excellent doctor or lawyer or rock star and not compromise your convictions. It's simply harder to do.

Does God care about being the "best?" Hmmm. My guess is that He cares about us striving to glorify Him in whatever we do and not worrying about being the best. He'll put us where he wants us with regard to platforms and results.

Should we care? I'm not so sure we should care about "best" but rather excellence. And "best" can be so subjective in man's eyes that I'm not sure it matters. For example, was Eddie Van Halen or Phil Keaggy the "best?" It would depend on genre...and both Phil and Eddie referred to the other as the "best." So, I think we should strive for excellence and do our work heartily as to the Lord, not for man. Although, I do think folks will notice excellence when they see it...and appreciate it.

Those are my "off the cuff" responses, anyway.

8:17 PM

Blogger Cletus said...

What do yo think Hollywood?

8:21 PM

Blogger Brent said...

by the way...very good blog entry. Provocative questions!

8:21 PM

Blogger Hollywood said...

My main line of thinking is along the lines of what guidance I give my children...

So, I think that if you were going to be the drummer, bass player or lead guitarists for the next Led Zeppelin, I'd probably discourage it, 'cause you'd end up in positions that caused you to choose between comprimising your convictions and continuing the journey toward excellence...

- playing the club at 16, when the legal age to get in is 21
- being offered all sorts of ---- to get you through the next road trip
- playing songs that your bandmate spent tremendous energy and talent crafting, but you know would be major stumbling blocks to some or cause major disappointment to your siblings that you caved and played such a song.

I could go on, but its those every day choices that will make Third Day's drummer never be mentioned in the same breath with John Bonham, nor have the same platform as Bonzo, yet may be just as talented.

4:18 PM


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