It only took two years but I am finally going to be putting my college education to good use in a more direct way. Since I graduated from Indiana University I have been more than grateful for all of the skills I learned during my years on campus. I learned and developed skills such as critical thinking, how to create a usable work out plan, paper writing and argument building. Most of these things were developed as I was withstood a four year barrage of facts and trends in the music industry and non-profit management. Even as a student I just assumed that the particular major I picked was mostly a matter of peace of mind for the prospect of finding a job and preference of interest in the subject matter. Upon graduation I assumed that I would fall into the large group of people who do not directly apply their college education to their day job. For the first two years of my post college life I was mostly correct. Then like a lightening bolt or an Old Testament style revelation, inspiration struck.
The interesting part though was that it didn’t strike me. A few months ago my friend and fellow pastor at Fx Church, Jason, began his sick day off work by trying to play his guitar. After having it serviced by a repair shop, it was in a strange tuning that was pretty unfamiliar to him. So like any curious musician he decided to play around on the guitar to see how it sounded. The short version of the story is that the tuning was so novel and yet intriguing that it led Jason to begin writing a song to play. I can’t really tell you the specifics of the timeline following that day, but the seed was planted and the idea began to grow. Since the church was currently beginning a 12 week study of the Old Testament book Jeremiah, Jason decided to write a new song each week to go along with the sermon series. In the end the song writing process didn’t quite fit into that 12 week frame, but it the process did result in 12 new songs inspired by the story and narrative of Jeremiah. And what do 12 original songs make?
As excited as Jason was about the prospect of recording an album, he confessed he needed someone to push him to take the appropriate steps to make this idea a reality. With a degree in Arts Management with a concentration in music, I was excited at the prospect of helping contribute to the process of recording a concept album based on the book of Jeremiah. Both Jason and I sort of assumed that we would be the counterpart to the other. He would create and perform and I would arrange the details of recording and promoting. The most honest reality of the situation was that I was really excited to hear about the idea and wanted to a part of it in any way possible.
The album is far from recorded, but the songs are written and the equipment has been purchased to record. I cannot begin to claim any sort of creative contribution to this project, but I can say that because of Jason and his dream I am currently getting to employ some of the bits of information that I absorbed during my undergraduate education. I imagine stories like these are the things that will make God one day say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” More than just two people working together to have some fun, but many of His people coming together to offer what they have in abilities and resources to contribute to a piece of creative work that is intended make much of what God has done and is still doing. What the future of this project holds is in God’s hands, but Jason and I have a few plans for what might come, the first of which is only an album.
Be on the lookout at fxchurch.com for songs from The Jeremiah Record this summer.
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Write down for the record everything I have said to you, Jeremiah.” Jeremiah 30:2