This is part 3 of a 3 part series called Hidden In Plain Sight. For proper context please see Part 1 and Part 2.
Square Pegs, Round Holes
Over the past 12 years, I’ve developed some interesting skills. I developed the strang ability to mimic the guitar style of Stevie Ray Vaughan, arguably the best blues guitarist of all time. I also taught myself how to build websites in my spare time. Another computer related skill set I’ve also learned is the art of studio recording and video editing. To top it off, I was surprised to learn that I make a pretty good teacher on subjects I care about.
So here were 4 fairly disjoint skills that I picked up, and for the longest time I felt like I had a bunch of square pegs and my life was made of round holes. How in the world could all these things fit together?
- Guitar Playing
- Website design skills
- Recording and video editing
Quieting the noise pollution of religion
Over the past year and a half, I’ve dealt with a lot of old testament style beliefs that I held. Feeling like I had to earn God’s favor, I had to fix everybody, and make them happy. These kinds of thoughts and beliefs were polluting the air between me and God to the point where I could not hear him.
As I began to walk away from some of those mindsets, I started to experience a kind of peace I had never felt before. A peace with who I was, who he had made me. I began to hear him speak about things I would have never considered important enough to him to talk about. I began to trust that there really was nothing that he considered insignificant.
The blinders come off
For years I had dreamed of putting together a curriculum to share what I had learned on guitar. But the task of creating a series of DVDs seemed so monumental I always wondered if I’d ever get the chance to do it. One night while I was cruising around YouTube, watching videos of other people playing guitar, showing off their amps, pedals, guitars, or just showing off their skills, an idea came from that still small voice that I’ve learned is the Holy Spirit.
"Why don’t you start making your own video guitar lessons, and build a website to show them on?"
And my immediate response was "uh…….yeah. Why haven’t I?" It was so simple, it was right there in front of me, and it had never occured to me that I could do it.
To make a short story even shorter, in the 3 months since I put up my first lesson, I’ve had my first 22 lessons watched over 60,000 times on YouTube, I’ve had over 3,000 individual people from over 20 countries visit my website. The number of pages viewed on my website is more than 30,000. I now get about 1100 pages viewed a day on my site and over 1000 video views a day on YouTube. I’ve had people send me donations, ask me to sell DVD lessons. I’ve even had people go out and buy amps, guitars, and guitar effects pedals after watching my videos.
All of this was a complete surprise to me. I have no idea how far this will go, but my bigger question was "Why didn’t I think of this before?". The skills were there, but I couldn’t see it. I was so wrapped up in trying to please God, that I couldn’t see the most obvious thing right in front of my eyes. The one thing that pulls together all my skills towards a common goal. It makes so much sense now looking back, but for years it was hidden in plain sight.
You can’t afford not to hear God
To close this series, I want to say again that a Christian cannot afford to go through life not hearing God. We will miss many good things that he’s laid before us, uniquely designed for the skills he’s given us. While we’re stuck running in circles trying to figure out how to get our act together enough to please him, we will miss the ideas that he’s hidden in plain sight, right in front of our eyes.