When Jesus begins, some things are going to end. And this morning I am sitting in grief because of it.
As I wrote on these pages before, I am a throwback bar DJ playing taverns and various places around here in the Cedar Valley for about four years. I’ve become disillusioned with it. I’ve not been making money at it and, since coming to Christ, I’ve lost a lot of my will to try to hustle for it.
The money part of it I won’t go into particulars for the simple reason that I would be making other people vulnerable without their permission (a big no-no according to Christy Wright). Needless to say, I have lost a lot of it, especially last night. As you may have read in previous posts, I am a Dave Ramsey enthusiast. I’m deep in student loan debt and figured I could use my already existing side business to make extra money. There’s been no extra money. In fact, expenses are going beyond revenue as no one seems to want to buy what I am selling save a local bar here in town. As a Ramsey follower, going into more debt is the closest thing to a cardinal sin there is. “You can’t fix stupid with stupid,” I heard him say once when pointing out that real millionaires never get wealthy by using credit cards or going into more debt. I can’t keep my DJ business going like this.
I could blame this person or that person for that, but in this case, if I am being honest, I don’t get shows at most places because my product is not what the market demands. In our system of capitalism, the market determines what goes and what doesn’t. My product isn’t going. Therefore, it’s time to go.
As for the misgivings, I’m starting to really tire of the bar scene. I don’t hang out in bars because I don’t drink. That wasn’t a decision I made when I came to Jesus, I made that decision before I became a Christian as I have seen negative effects of alcoholism in my own family. I don’t care for excessively drunk people and yet I am in a position where I have to encourage such behavior.
Secondly, I don’t feel comfortable with some of the lyrical content of some of the songs. Objectionable content is certainly not something that is unique to rap music (despite what the denizens of the cultural wars say). If you flipped on the Top 40, country, or classic rock station, you will find it there too. The fact that I play predominately rap music isn’t the problem. The problem is in the question “am I living what I believe?” Encouraging heavy drinking through some material that I am not comfortable with is at odds with the reality of Jesus in my life.
For some reason I am thinking of James 3: 10-13 at this point:
“And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.”
I’m becoming more convinced that I shouldn’t be doing this and that God is sending me messages that He has something else to do for Him.
What makes me say that? A few reasons. There were children in the park last night where I was spinning outdoors. I felt so uncomfortable spinning certain records in front of them- even though with my 12-inch vinyls I can drop the needle in a different spot on most of them and play the radio-friendly version. I was uncomfortable with working with one person in particular there. The whole thing was uneasy for me. It’s been uneasy for me since February when I finally let Jesus have control. Last night was the most uncomfortable.
After the despair of the evening, I opened Facebook and saw a gathering on the deck of one of the pastors at my church. I saw people there I loved deeply (or at the very least people whom I wanted to know). These were people who have talked about going into our city to bring continual and sustained hope and action to the those whom people forget about. I’ve heard the term ‘adopted’ used to describe one place one person wanted to go and minster to. As in long-term, sustained service not a one-day service project to make us feel good about ourselves.
I would have given everything to be on that deck with those people. Including all of the money I lost last night. These were the people I wanted to go with. And my Lord is God I want to serve. I think of the money I’ve spent trying to build a DJ business and I sit here and ask “how much of that money could have gone to the Mexico mission? Or the various other ministries of the church?”
I guess what I am saying is that my heart’s no longer in my Djing. And as Dave Ramsey said “When your heart’s no longer in your job, make sure your body follows as fast it can.”
I have a couple of other engagements I have to meet for a local bar owner that was always good to me. But when those are done, I’m hanging it up.
It’s time to go.