I am missing Albuquerque today. it's my friend's birthday, and I wish I could be there to celebrate with everyone. It's also a celebration night for the people who participated in our church's Redemption Groups - my sister and quite a few other friends included. In all, it's one of those days where sacrificing time at home and the reality of tour-life collide and weigh heavy on my heart.
I enjoy touring. I do. I like the travel - especially on drives like today, winding down through the beautiful mountain valleys that make up the trek from Seattle to Boise. Coeur D'Alene to Twin Falls is even better. I love performing for people - something I'd never imagined possible at the end of high-school with my shaky legs distracting anyone trying to listen to whatever I had to say. I love praying over people - it is a beautiful thing to have the opportunity to go to the Father with someone in prayer. I love presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ through my art - even in the midst of lies that periodically come in and threaten my faith, my deepest desires are still to serve my King, and nothing has been able to shake the conviction that his resurrection life is the only life. I love hearing the stories - I am nightly humbled, encouraged, awed at the work that Jesus has done through this project in the lives of the people who have connected to it. Just four days ago I met a young woman who flew from Green Bay, Wisconsin to San Francisco, and then caught a Greyhound to Redding so that she could see me perform. The life that she has lived brings tears of sadness to my eyes and tears of joy to my eyes. Her story reminded me that Jesus is still alive, still a miracle-worker, still desperately in love with his kids, still ever-pursuing us. He is still a healer, still a savior. He still loves her, and you, and me.
Touring is hard, though. It isn't for everyone. There are times when I wonder if it isn't for me, and then I think on these stories, and I am reminded that God has not called us to lives of comfort, but of obedience. There have been times, over the years, when people have asked me when I'm planning on getting a real job. Aside from how denigrating that sounds to someone who has worked at this real job for five years, I think it's a fair question, because much of "tour life" does look like a hobby, or an extended, immature adolescence. Unfortunately, that's a lot of what I see out on the road, too. I think there are a lot of people that would do better to call it quits. I think that there are a lot of men's wives who would do better if they spent as much time with them as they do away on the road. Those aren't my calls to make.
By the grace of God, my wife has been my biggest support and encouragement to pursue this life since four years before we got married. When we did get married, I told Brandi that it would have been an act of disobedience to the Lord for me to stop touring, and she agreed. She joined a band that we lived with for a year so that we could be together, and has gone out on every run with me since we were married (save this one). We both believe that this is where the Lord has called us, and we have seen the fruit of that labor in the lives of people that we love and love to serve. We want to be Christ's hands and feet. I don't know that life will look like this forever, or that we will always tour to this capacity. But I do know that were it all to end tomorrow, it will not have been a pipe-dream.
We're not rich, but we're not starving. The Lord's provision has been amazing, and his provision comes through you, the listener, the believer, the participant, the audience, the fan, the miracle, the random stumbler who fell upon a video and felt compelled to support our efforts through a concert ticket, a store purchase, a donation. And beyond the material, even though everything in our culture attempts to veil it and Satan desperately tries (sometimes successfully) to blind me to it, I have to believe that there is a supernatural capital that we may never see, where Christ's reach has extended farther and deeper than I'll ever imagine through the mouth of this fool. The same mouth that utters both cursing and praise, and yet Jesus manifests his grace nonetheless.
So I'm missing home today, but I hope that in the scope of eternity it will have been worth it. Perhaps more of this is reminding myself of that as opposed to convincing you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for praying for us.
I don't know what the future holds, for me, or for you. I don't need to. God has given me grace that is sufficient for today, and tomorrow he'll give me grace that is sufficient for tomorrow. May he be my comfort when the comfort of home is far away.