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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012
In the car, driving from point A to point B, I hit the radio scan button. It wound up on an oldies station. FM dial. Full bandwidth but crackling music. A flash from the past. Late 1960s? Early 1970s? I was 9 or 10 and not a hipster, but I still liked the song. I remembered this one but couldn't place the voice--was it Mama Cass?

But you've gotta make your own music
Sing your own special song,
Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

For some reason the lyrics hit me deeper than what may have been intended by the author. You can read those words and interpret them as, "Be yourself, man. Do your own thing. Whatever makes you feel groovy, do it and don't care about the people who drag you down. Man."

That kind of sentiment was prominent in the 1960s. The individual became king. This led to a lot of personal disasters that leaked onto others who were also enthroning themselves. Every man a king and no one a servant.

There's another interpretation that strikes me more than 40 years later. There's music inside each of us. Art and creativity waiting to emerge. Most of the time we're too afraid of what others will think. We play our songs to an unseen audience of critics and decide to play it safe and give them what they want--or perhaps we give them what we think they want so we'll get the desired response. In other words, we play to the applause or play to avoid the catcalls. We don't play authentically from the heart because we're afraid.

Living is risky. Loving is, too. The struggle is finding the unique song God gave you and singing it loud, confidently, no matter what the response. Maybe you'll have others singing along today. Or it might feel a little lonely. Everyone else has drums, a big band, and you're sitting alone with a kazoo.

Ultimately, the "make your own kind of music" mantra feels hollow to me. Maybe the reason I identified with it is the truth that left to our own devices, we're always going to make music that doesn't satisfy our souls. We can only take the tunes so far and wind up like Jackson Browne's Everyman, always searching, always feeling "a day away from where I want to be." There's a deeper, more meaningful kind of music/art we were created to make that can only come when I slip my trembling hand into the one who made me and put the music inside.

When you get to that point, not enthroning yourself but stepping off the throne in humility, the music you were created to make will bubble to the surface. And you'll be content with its reach no matter what the fans or critics say. You'll be content with God and a kazoo.


Okaasan said...

This is a lesson I've been trying very hard to let sink in lately. We live in a world where everyone thinks they need to be seen. What did people do 100 years ago when Facebook didn't exist? Were people more free to be themselves when they weren't always putting themselves on public display? Although I'm sure there was more than enough censure back then, it seems amplified in this day and age where we can put our deepest feelings out there for everyone to see in an instant.