Grabbing Hold Of Life

I can remember a conversation I had one day back in high school with my principal, Mr. Lewis. I had gotten to know him pretty well during my junior year. He led the worship team for the school chapel services, and I did sound for them. So I occasionally spent time in his office talking about music or sound work, but most often we just shot the breeze about nothing in particular.

On this one occasion, he was recounting to me a discussion he had with my dad. My dad went in to talk to him about something or other, and their conversation turned to my involvement with the worship team. Mr. Lewis had told my dad that I had “really grabbed the bull by the horns” in doing sound for the group. Apparently he had fumbled a bit to get this statement out, and my dad replied, “Well, I guess that is better than grabbing the bull by the balls.” Of course I was shocked that such language would come out of my father’s mouth, but I was happy to know that my initiative was appreciated.

Fast-forward about eight years … My wife Tanya and I were driving around town, probably on our way to dinner. We heard an ad saying that the local radio station was looking for a new morning show co-host. With my background in sound work and my love for hearing myself talk, I thought it would be really cool to audition. I said I should look into it as we drove to the restaurant. Tanya and I played the “what-if” game over dinner, daydreaming of this cool new opportunity.

When we got home, we went online to respond to the casting call. I typed a brief, witty paragraph saying that their search was over; I was the guy for the job. A few days later, I got a response saying to meet at a restaurant just north of Santa Barbara for an audition. I was totally jazzed at this chance. The afternoon of the audition, I revised my résumé and typed a very clever cover letter, I changed into my “dress to impress” clothes, and Tanya and I were on our way.

When we arrived, there was only one other person there. We sat in one corner, away from the competition. I filled out some papers, they explained the procedure, and we sat there waiting for things to begin. The whole time, the adrenaline was pumping. Now, I am used to being up in front of people, but new experiences and new people make me pretty nervous. And this was certainly uncharted territory for me.

Soon enough, my turn came. I nervously walked over and sat in the hot seat. I took my microphone and waited for the interview to begin. He asked all the standard questions: likes and dislikes, a few “what-if” questions. He also asked about my present job as a high school teacher. I don’t remember much of what I said, but most of my answers were pretty cliché. Overall, I think I kind of choked. I certainly wasn’t very impressive.

By the time I was done, a few others had shown up. We stayed to hear some of their auditions. But since we had an hour’s drive ahead of us, we left pretty early.

I emailed the station a week or so later to see what they thought of my audition. As I expected, I didn’t get the job. I wasn’t too heartbroken about it. After all, I have a job I like, and I don’t have to get up at four in the morning to be there on time.

I know I never really had a shot at it. My voice is really deep and monotone. Plus, I stutter and have difficulty finding the right words to say. It’s pretty obvious that I would not make a very good morning co-host. And I’m okay with that. The important thing was I saw the opportunity, and I took it. Sure, things didn’t work out, but I don’t think going out to a radio audition on a whim was a waste of time.

In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan took a chance. He and his servant saw the Philistine army and decided to go confront them, to see if God was in it. They went up, and God delivered this entire army into the hands of two young men. They took a risk, and it paid off.

Now, my little experience is nothing compared to Jonathan’s. But both involved taking a risk, stepping out to see if God was in it. Driving an hour to audition for a radio job is not something I do on a regular basis. But the opportunity was there and I “grabbed it by the horns.” I don’t know if I can say, as Robert Frost did before me, that taking this chance has “made all the difference.” I don’t know that I am a better person for having done it. But it was a lot of fun, and I’ve got a cool story to tell.

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THE WALK

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