Skip to main content

lesson from American Idol



I don't usually follow American Idol, but this morning I went on youtube (I don't even remember what I was looking for) and on a whim, decided to click on one of the "videos being watched right now." It was Michael Lynche, one of the top 8 on AI this season.

I watched his latest offering on the show (video above) and was impressed. But it was the comments surrounding his performance that intrigued me, implying that something had changed in his demeanour lately, so I did a bit of searching and found out that his wife gave birth to their first child, a baby girl, in January while he was in Hollywood doing AI. That made his story interesting, but what did it have to do with how well he could sing? Not much, until just over a week ago when he sang This is a Man's World. This song changed him from a pussy cat into a lion (so said Simon). Why?

The last line of the song is: This is a man's world, but it would be nothin' without a woman or a girl. These words mean something to him now. They reflect something about his life. I would call what I heard and saw in Michael: CONVICTION.

And I guess that's what I was trying to get at in my last post, market me. I never want to lose the element of conviction as an artist or for that matter, as a person. No matter what mode I find myself in, whether doing an assignment or writing a blog or singing a song or presenting a talk or being a friend, I need to find something in what I am doing that convicts me. That resonates with my life. That becomes part of me and makes it more than just a performance to watch or a paper to read or a song to listen to. That requires something of me. Conviction brings what talent never can. It allows me to offer part of myself as a gift to people. It invites people to participate instead of being spectators. You could even call it an act of worship.

Indeed, authenticity is my responsibility. I willingly accept that. I know enough about myself to know when I am not fully present. This means that I need to find out why. Perhaps I have erected some barrier to engaging with the subject matter or person, perhaps it is a bad fit, or perhaps I am just being selfish and safe.

When Michael sang, "This Woman's Work," his wife was in the audience. And you can tell. May I always know that my lover and best friend is in the front row and act accordingly.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

fun with hermeneutics

I am a reader. The stacks of books in my bedroom, living room, and office, many of them still waiting to be cracked open, testify to this fact. I love to read, but I also know that not all reading is the same. Some is more work and some is more pleasure. A light work of fiction requires little of me but to engage my imagination and be carried away by the story. Online reading requires a bit (or a lot) of discernment to make sure the sources are reliable and the facts check out. Academic reading requires me to reason through the arguments being made and connect them to what I already know or have read in the field. Reading an ancient text requires that I suspend my 21st century perspective as best I can and learn a bit about the worldview and language of the time. Acknowledging a text's context, intent, and genre enables me to hear the words and ideas in such a way that my view of history and the world are enlarged.

Reading, interpreting, and understanding the Bible are important …

stained and broken

Recently, I was asked to speak at another church, and the passage of Scripture which was assigned to me was John 1:6-8. "There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe [in Christ, the Light] through him. John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light." (John 1:6-8, Amplified Bible)

The first question I usually ask when reading something in the Bible is this: What does this tell me about God? Two things are immediately obvious - God is a sending God and God wants to communicate - but there is a third which merits a bit more attention. Though God could communicate directly with humanity, sending truth and love to every individual via some divine mind-and-heart-meld, God chooses to send messengers. Not only that, instead of introducing Jesus directly to the world as the main event, an opening, warm-up act appears as a precursor. What is the point of incorporati…

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…