Who is this Jamin guy anyway?
I am the husband of one and the father of nine. I was created to sing, to worship, to encourage, and to be steady. I am the Owner & Executive Director of Trinity Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary Arts Center in Eastern Tennessee, and the President of Trinity Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on funding arts education and performance. I've been involved with four music projects in my life -- Hot Pink Turtle, Spin Radio, Stand Like Stone, and of course, Jamin Rathbun.

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box_bible bible

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

The first passage, from Colossians, is something I'm sure we've all heard before. For most of us, it's something that we can easily absorb as a good value in life -- "Whatever you do... work hard."

The second passage is a little more intriguing for me. It advises us to:

1. Make it your ambition to... Lead a quiet life.
2. Make it your ambition to... Mind your own business
3. Make it your ambition to... Work with your hands

Now that's probably a whole different direction than most of us are heading huh? = ) The terms themselves seem so contradictory. We don't usually equate ambition with quiet, unpolitical, labor. At least I don't.

I was talking with a friend today today about what it means to be an entrepreneur. I shared with him that I didn't really make a very good #2 man and that I'm really most happy when I'm running the show. I like to have the freedom to "live or die" by my decisions, rather than the decisions of someone else. I expressed to him that I had a bit of a rebellious streak and sometimes struggle to do my best work when it is for someone else.

In reflection, that isn't entirely true. I actually make a pretty good team member. I'm loyal. I'm pretty bright. I take ownership of what I'm given and work hard to have the result represent me well. I like to encourage people. I like to teach. I'm just an all-around good guy. = )

The thing is... A lot of us do good work. We get the job done. We research and negotiate and manage things. Some of us build, some of us teach, some of us serve. All of those things are admirable but -- they can become something of an idol. I know I get so head down into doing my work that I often don't pay enough attention to where I am headed personally. I don't focus enough my personal gifts and talents and the call the God has placed on my life.

Most of the time, I get so wrapped up and busy with "good" things that I forget to do what God has called me to do.

Why do I do that? Maybe because I've grown accustomed to my lifestyle and don't want to take a pay cut. Maybe because I'm afraid of what my family might lose if I don't continue up the career path. Probably because money is too important to me.

That brings us to the last part of the passage... The reason we are to make these things our ambition:

1. So that... Our daily lives might win the respect of outsiders
2. So that... you will not be dependent upon anyone.

I use different words but -- that fits in pretty well with what I want?
Meaning. Independence. Freedom. People to listen to, and appreciate, my music.

Later in the day, the topic of communication came up in a meeting. As part of that discussion, Thomas & Jose referenced a couple highly respected authors and who communicated poorly in person. It's not that they weren't talented or that they weren't working hard. It's just that when they work hard in an area outside their talent, the result wasn't positive. That got me to thinking about the Apostle Paul, who referred to how he communicated differently in writing vs. in person, I assume because his "gift" was writing. Steve Jobs is a great visionary and communicator but -- he can't hold a candle to the welding talent of the guys on American Chopper. He could try hard but -- I doubt he'd impress anyone, anytime soon.

Eventually, I started to think about myself... What do I respect?
Hard work? Usually... Talent? Definitely... Leadership? Yes... Individuality. Within reason. = )

I'm uncomfortable saying this, and I hope those of you who don't know me well will forgive what may seem like arrogance but -- here's a bit of transparent self-evaluation from me. In some areas, like music, I don't have to work very hard to "succeed". In many cases, this enables me to be lazy because the result is still at a high enough level that people appreciate it anyway. I'm not defending that half-effort -- I'm just relaying what I've observed.

My conclusion. I can work all day and all night at something that is outside God's plan for me and the value of that work is limited to my effort alone. I can work kinda hard at the thing which God has designed me to do and people will respect and appreciate it... Even if I'm a little lazy about it and sometimes... Even if I'm a bit of a jerk about it. (reference any number of public figures whos talent we appreciate and admire) Every good thing is from God. HIS talents and gifts shine THROUGH us, often in spite of ourselves.

Now... the reality is that God asks more of us than to just "get by". He asks us to sell out. To represent Him. To run the race. To fight the good fight. Here are a couple things to close with. I realize I'm not wrapping this up very well but -- I don't know a better way than with this warning/admonition from Luke:

Luke 16:10
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

Luke 12:47-48
That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

So... Go out there... Do your thing and... Do it well.

© 2006-2010 Jamin Rathbun & Superdink.com. All rights reserved.
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