I packed a sandwich for the trip, but had to stop and get some fries and a diet Coke for accompaniment. It’s better that way. It’s only a three-hour tour from Nashvegas to Louisville, just long enough to make a couple phone calls and get through three CDs. Haven’t heard Breathe’s “Hands To Heaven” for a while, so I enjoyed that. Would love to cover that, as well as “Somewhere Out There,” perhaps with Natalie Grant playing the Linda Ronstadt part, for the forthcoming Pilgrim Man CD.
Last time I pulled into Dover Chapel, the town was covered with ice. This is the church used in “The Perfect Gift,” you know, the one that put up the Nativity scene that I had ordered taken down? I was wondering if the real-life church would have an actual Nativity scene set-up, with maybe a sign declaring, “As seen in the feature film THE PERFECT GIFT” for those who drove by. No such luck.
I’ll be doing a concert in their morning service tomorrow, and then singing “Emmanuel” prior to a screening of the film in the evening. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here, and get to share some of my tunes with these amazingly kind people.
I’m listening to a station that just might play my Christmas song, “Emmanuel (You Are With Me)”. Honestly, it’s a weird feeling thinking your song might come on, and then realizing it probably won’t. And trying not to be resentful of the others who do get their songs played on the radio. The more effort that is made to get my song played on Christian radio, or to get some press coverage for the movie – and the more walls we hit – people saying no, or just not saying anything at all – the more challenging it is for me not to get frustrated. It’s easier to not go after something, and simply live in the fantasy of what might happen. But putting yourself out there for people to say “this is of value to us” or not…is a crazy way to live.
I’m reminded that I can’t let any of my self-esteem or identity be found in who likes me and who doesn’t. Which is fine, because Joe Radio Programmer isn’t rejecting me, per se—he just doesn’t think he can hold/increase listeners by playing a completely unfamiliar song from a completely unknown artist. Makes sense to me! What’s really even more amazing is when someone DOES take a chance by playing my tune! I’m blown away there are stations playing my song—that those programmers are taking a chance with an unknown song and artist.
Ultimately, I know my song has already been, and will continue to be encouraging to some people. I already know that for a fact. To think that the impact of my song should be THIS big…or this big…is selfish, and oddly enough, me trying to tell God how useful I want to be.
Here’s my simple Christmas prayer: God, I trust you are using my song just as You’d like. I’m thankful to have played a small part in bringing hope to someone who may be hurting this Christmas. But hope doesn’t come from Mark Smeby. It can only come from You. I surrender my desire to have my song be really popular. Even though I desire to have this curious moment create more opportunities for me, I can trust You are the provider of all my future opportunities, and not the radio chart. Thanks for reminding me you are in control of your world and your work. It’s better that way.