Embracing Awkward

  • Road Trippin'

    Wednesday morning our family will all climb into our 2007 Honda Odyssey where we will spend the next 28 days driving across 23 states as we make our way out west to Los Angeles. Well, first we will accuse each other of being the reason we're leaving an hour later than we said we would, then we'll climb into our minivan (it's always more painful when you put "our" in front of "minivan"). This minivan will practically be our home for the next month, a sad burrito on wheels, stuffed with passive aggressive adults and restless children. 

    We've never done a trip like this. Lots of things had to be purchased. Auto BINGO books for the kids (nothing keeps the kids nice and calm like a raging sibling competition), a car top carrier (the minivan version of carrying a backpack with wheels), snacks on snacks on snacks (healthy versions of the good kind so basically the not good kind), and we could go on. 

    The word we've chosen for our trip is "memorable," a purposely broad word to capture both the good times, as well as the times where we wish we could pray each other out of existence. Memorable in the same way meeting your favorite football team at their hotel in Orlando, fresh from practice, just before the Citrus Bowl is memorable. But also memorable in the same way almost drowing in the Rocky Broad River at Chimney Rock on your first (and only) family camping trip is memorable. Think I'll watch Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Family Vacation one more time tonight to prepare. 

    To help keep my sanity, I plan on writing a little something every day (if possible) to vent, share, connect, keep myself from becoming a casual alcoholic. I would love to share those thoughts with you, not because I think they will be great thoughts, but because I hope they'll be fun to read. You can find them right here, but if you want to make sure you don't miss that stirring post about the best donut I've ever had in Cool Town, USA, etc., you can sign up below and they'll come straight to your mailbox. Not the literal one. The interwebs one. Wish us luck...

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  • Muscle Shoals: You Don't Just Watch, You Worship

    “Words and music did for me what solid, even rigorous, religious argument could never do, they introduced me to God, not belief in God, more an experiential sense of GOD.”  - Bono 

    I didn't know what to expect when I bought my ticket to Muscle Shoals. Like any good WASP, I'm a sucker for documentaries in general, music documentaries in particular. If you want to win a white person over simply invite them over to split a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir and watch a music documentary on Netflix. You're well on your way to being BFFs for life. 

    Muscle Shoals tells the incredible story of how one poverty stricken country boy from the tiny town of Muscle Shoals, AL founded a recording studio so big artists like the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin were practically begging to come record there. It's a rags to riches (to loneliness) kind of story. 

    It's also a story about what music means to us. Where it comes from. Where it takes us. Bach once said that "the final aim of all music should be to the glory of God." He could have just as easily said that music doesn't only aim to glorify God, it also conveys the glory of God. It's why Jesus tells the people singing his praises that if they wouldn't the rivers, rocks and trees would. 

    How a town so small made such a huge impact in the music business is a David & Goliath type storyline, the kind Malcom Gladwell could easily write about. And the clips with Bono, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Steve Winwood certainly don't hurt either. Who doesn't love to see half-drunk Brits talk about, well, anything really? Fun laced fascination. 

    But the thing I kept thinking during the film, and well after, is that even though you buy a ticket to watch Muscle Shoals, somewhere in the middle you find yourself not just watching, but worshipping. How does the old hymn go? Lost in wonder, love and praise? Yes. Lost in wonder, love and praise.