APPLE PRODUCTS don’t usually get me to thinking about God.
If anything, they point me in the other direction.
That’s because I don’t usually think about them until they start giving me problems.
GarageBand is an exception. It’s an app I downloaded to my iPad this week. For $4.99, I can make music. And it occurred to me that for the first time in my life, I can actually record and preserve songs I wrote when I was in high school and college.
Relax. I’m not going to give you a YouTube link.
Trust me, you would not want to hear what I have so far.
The quality of the music sounds like it came from someone in high school at the turn of 1970. And there’s nothing biblical about the lyrics of the song I was working on last night: The Ballad of Aunt Bessie’s Murder.
Spoiler alert: Uncle Jack did it.
Notable fact: This song in no way represents a story from the history of my family. As far as I know.
As stinky cheese as my songs are, I seem to have an innate drive to preserve them. To record them for my kids and others who might want to listen to them and laugh with me – or at me.
That’s the thing about creative types. They seem driven to create something from nothing and then they do everything they can to preserve the creation. Reminds me of God.
Whether it’s writing a book, taking a photo, or humming a new melody, we don’t want to let them go.
We don’t want our books to go out of print. We keep our best photos on backup drives. And now, people like me use apps to record and preserve their music.
I was thinking about this yesterday morning while I was walking Buddy the Dog. I thought about what life was like for me when I was in high school.
The biggest movie star of the day was John Wayne. I can’t think of any actor today who measures up to the stature he attained. No one did not know John Wayne.
Here’s the trouble.
Some people reading this right are now thinking “John who?”
They wouldn’t know John Wayne from John Payne – another top movie star perhaps most famous for playing a lawyer in the 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street.”
If people of John Wayne’s international acclaim are nearly lost to memory within a couple decades of dying, what chance do I have of making a lasting difference? With my books, my photos, or my not-ready-for-YouTube songs?
Speaking of which, if it turns out that I am best remembered for “The Ballad of Aunt Bessie’s Murder,” I fear that my spirit could return to roll my body over in its grave.
But at least I would be remembered by someone – even if the someone is a rotten music aficionado.
“We were born but yesterday….Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.”
—Job 8:9 NLT
“Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures…they quickly pass, and we fly away.”
—Psalm 90:10 NIV
“Lord….My entire lifetime is just a moment to you… But a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.”
—Psalm 39:4 NLT
What am I supposed to do with this?
It sounds grim. Depressing.
Someone else will spend my money, and they might not even think of me while doing it.
Our wealth is gone. In time, most if not all memory of us will be gone as well – regardless of what we accomplished in this lifetime, with few exceptions.
This is my moment. This is my breath. This is my life.
Whatever comes of it, this moment is my gift from God. I will treat it that way.
- When I write a book.
- When I take a picture.
- Even when I crack open my iPad, tap the GarageBand app, and work on preserving my antiquated music for the entertainment of my children who grew up listening to me sing some of those songs.
I’m here now, in this moment.
Alive. Kicking. Trying to make a difference while I can.
Every creative venture is, by nature, an act of faith.
You always have an unusual and interesting take on life, Steve! Thanks for your blog.
Stephen M. Miller
Hey, thanks Steve. I don’t have much control over what my brain thinks. It has a mind of its own.
Yes, Dear Friend, your legacy will live on in your writings and, doubtfully, in your music, but it will live because of the generous spirit in which you do things for others ( mentioned in previous blogs)! Also, remember that you will have no money to pass on anyway because Buddy the Dog is using it all up 😉
Have a blessed day as you bless others!