Last night, the tour stopped in Buckhannon, West Virginia for one of my Kickstarter backer-incentive fulfillments.
Jacqueline Kirschbirg's family gifted her with a birthday present this year - our "Book Your Own LTP Show" package, which was one of a few different incentives for those who helped contribute to the funding of our new album, Correspondence (a fiction). Amazing family, and so thankful for their support and belief in what the Lord is accomplishing through LTP. Plus, they gave us all brand new West Virginia baseball caps.
Tonight, we're in Horseheads, New York, with Adam Bunce. I honestly can't remember where I met Adam, but he's two for two on great shows for us in Upstate. He does a bunch of work for iMatter Fest in this region, and I've become a lot less metal than most of those bands, and this tour is a lot lot less metal than most of those bands, so I very much appreciate his hospitality.
Sometimes, when I'm stressed, I get canker sores, which is sort of gross I guess, and only makes me think of third graders making fun of one another for having herpes. It's more like post-stressed, though. Like my body protects itself through days or weeks or months of anxiety (I know, don't be anxious about anything...) and when whatever I was worrying about accomplishing is finally accomplished (which it always is, my way or another way that ends up being better), everything shuts down and my body says, "I hate you so I'm going to return your abuse in kind."
Anyway, my mouth hurts. Today it's so bad that I can hardly talk, which is great because I talk for a living and will be doing all of the talking in the world in twenty minutes.
Back to the be anxious about nothing thing, though. Scripture does really say that and I don't know if or when I'm ever going to be better about obeying, but I think that the root of that obedience will, firstly, mean a lot more abiding. Two days ago, I woke up to take a shower and thought about what kind of a seed I am in Jesus' parable of the sower. Or, what kind of a seed I'm prone to be. (That's a lot of thinking for a guy who never thinks in the shower.)
My greatest tendency to err is toward that of the seed that falls along rocky ground, where the cares of the world shoot up like weeds and choke the faith away. And I'm not really thinking of some finality that strips me of salvation or anything - more in the day's small instances (those same small subtleties that C.S. Lewis would argue are the most frightening of all). What keeps me from a pure mind, a simple devotion, the pursuit of the presence of my savior. Daily neglect of the word of God is always a struggle for me on tour. I can jam sermons all day long and spend plenty of time learning as I drive, but meditation wanes and slowly, subtly, almost unbeknownst to me, I am taking back the reigns, training in my own strength, inevitably failing in my own weakness.
Luther said that all of life is repentance. I'm not feeling condemned, but my conviction certainly seems circular as I learn, or think I learn, and then see that I have not learned, and must simply rest in who Jesus if there is any hope to come out from underneath the weight of those things.
All that to say, when I abide, I rest and remember that all is not subject to my doing, and my doing becomes more of a response in partnership with the works that Christ claims he has already set before me - good works that he is inviting me into - rather than the weight of amxiety and stress and fear and ________________.
Alright it's my turn to perform so I guess I'm done.