It is amazing all of the talented people in Nashville. Let me list some of the different areas of talent that you can see. Great singers. People that can sing in key and have great dynamics and powerful voices. Great songwriters. Songwriters that can make you feel what they are feeling as they play the song. These feeling could be love, anger, heartbreak, or joy. Great musicians. I love guitar. I am always impressed when somebody can really play guitar. The really good players make it look so easy. I guess, everything is easy once you master it.
I am going to be a myth buster. I have always assumed that the most talented people will be the ones that are successful. (Make it Big) This is a false statement that we see lived out in real life. To play basketball in the NBA you have to be extremely talented, but their are guys who are as talented and/or more talented who aren't there. Usually there are reasons that they are not their. Some examples would be lazy, unmotivated, not at team player, selfish (does not pass the ball), sin issues- drugs, alcoholism, over weight, not in shape, family drama, etc. The list could go on and on.
I have a good example of this from this weekend. After driving to Nashville to audition at the Bluebird, I drove to Edmund, OK to spend time with my son Jeremy and his family. Jeremy is married to Kristi and they have three kids- Titus, Mac, and Tate. It was great to get to spend time with family. We watched movies, played basketball, went to church, celebrated my birthday and ate chocolate cake. Great times.
Jeremy and I both love to play basketball. Jeremy was born when I was eighteen years old. I was a kid raising a kid. What does a kid raising a kid do? I played with my son. We played any sport that involved a ball. Baseball in the backyard, learning to throw wiffle ball curves, shooting baskets, tossing a football, playing video games, board games, checkers, Uno, and etc.
I am competitive and I like to win. Family members say that I am a trash talker. That might be going a little to far. I do admit that I like to use self doubt to my favor to win a game. I like to remind players of how important free throws are as they at trying to win the game shooting one. Sports is more than physical. It is mental. To be a winner you need to work on all aspects of your game. I learned this from my older brother Richard. I was a sophomore in high school and he would beat me at ping pong. I would practice ping pong and he would still beat me. I thought I was better and that I could beat him. He would tell me this and laugh, " Jim you think you are better than me but I know that I am better than you." I couldn't wait to use his saying on him after I beat him.
My son Jeremy and I have the same fire when it comes to basketball. I would not let Jeremy beat me. I would make him earn a victory. That is the reason that victories are so special. I was able to dominate for many years due to experience, size, and practice. I remember Jeremy beating me in Junior High when we played one on one. During his high school years I was still able to win most of the time. I didn't know it then but my days of beating my son at one on one were coming to a close.
Jeremy went to college at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. He went to school to be a preacher. He tried out for the basketball team and made the team. Jeremy played basketball everyday. He was practicing his shooting, dribbling, three point shots, defense, conditioning, you name it an he was practicing it. Meanwhile, Dad is back at home. Dad has a job. Dad does not have time to practice. Can you see where this is going?
Jeremy came home for Thanksgiving on his sophomore of college. We had reserved the gym at Eastside Baptist church for our McCarter Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner it was time for some one on one basketball. I played Jeremy three or four games and lost every one. I wasn't even close. The crown had passed from me to my son. It was a tough day for my pride. Also, my trash talking didn't help. Truly my son was more talented at basketball his Dad. Let me repeat this one more time because this is important. Truly my son was more talented at basketball than his Dad.
Jeremy bought and installed a new professional quality basketball goal on his driveway. It is really nice. It can be adjusted and it is super sturdy so you can dunk on it. Not that I was doing any dunking. We lowered that goal and we played Twenty-One. Titus, my grandson, Jeremy, and me. I was able to win the first game. Lucky me.
The second game was close. Well not really. Jeremy scored lots of points. He made many shots and free throws. He scored fifty-two points and lost the game 21-17. How did this happen? When you play Twenty-One it has some odd rules. A shot counts for two points. After making a shot you go to the free throw line and shoot free throws till you miss. You can make three and then you take the ball back out. If you score again, then you go back to the free throw line and shoot till you miss.
Here is the tricky part. You don't want to get stuck on the score "11". If you are on nine and make a two pointer you now have eleven points. You must make the free throw or you go back to Zero. Also if you are on twenty and miss the free throw you go back to thirteen. The emphasis on this game is in making your free throws.
Jeremy was the most talented player on the court. He scored almost three times as many points as I did but I won the second game. Life is like the game of Twenty One. Not always does the best player win. Jeremy was having a hard time making his free throws that day. He still made more free throws than me but he made errors that cost him the game. A bad bounce here and there, a rebound that bounced the wrong direction, etc.
Life is more than talent. Success is more than talent. Yes, you do have to practice and have some talent to be in the game but the person with the most talent does not always win. The songwriting and musical talent in Nashville is amazing but life is more than talent. Some people will talk about luck being involved. They will say that this person got lucky.
I am not a believer in luck. You can take luck and throw it out a window. I believe that God has a plan for our lives. A destiny that we are designed for. He knows the blueprints for our lives. He has added the correct ingredients into your life to make a great chocolate cake. He knows how high and how long to turn up the heat to make you turn out exactly as he had planned. He is in control of the outcome but we still have to do our part.
My part is I have to write songs. God can't bless me if I never write a song. God can't bless me if I never work on getting better at writing song. I got to do my part. Just like Jeremy practiced everyday to become a better basketball player. We all have to do our part so that God can do his part. This lesson can be applied to anything that you are trying to accomplish in your life. Maybe you want to be a doctor, a nurse, a professional umpire, a clown, a comedian, we all have to do your part. Don't give up because somebody has more talent than you. Life is more than talent. God is in control and he can make you successful.