I have always struggled with Identity and who I am, especially while doing White Collar Sideshow. I’ve come to the realization that it’s easy for the thing that you do, whether it be; music, job, sports, relationships, past struggles or mistakes to define who you are or become your identity. No surprise, I’ve said it before but I probably see it more as I’m getting older.
For me, letting my music become the wheel, or god of my life. For instance, becoming obsessed with MORE, MORE and MORE! More tours, more shows, more radio, is it time for a label, booking agent, festivals, merch sales, the vicious cycle of Want, Want, Want, and forgetting the whole time of, why do we do what we do? And then,when things don’t go my way; anger, frustration, the question of “why?”. Feelings of entitlement from hard work, loneliness, or measuring success placed on the people around you. When this becomes the god of our wheel so to say, we take this god to all of our different spokes of that wheel. What are the spokes of our daily life? The gym, spouse, kids, job, school, stage, meals, friends, concerts, conversations, addictions…and the list goes on. it’s so easy to let the emotional and mental state of our wheel take over and become our identity, at the same time if we don’t renew our mind at some point, our identity becomes the very thing we are consumed by.
I’ve had to sit down and retool my brain. Recognizing that if I’m a follower of Christ, my identity needs to be His, Christ defines me and not what I do for a living or what I’ve done in the past. A couple of friends, Ed and Brian, have challenged me with this, and it is way easier said than done for sure. If God is the center of my wheel and I take this identity to the different spokes of my daily life, then I am actually becoming a living, breathing example of the great commandment.
Focusing on Him; heart, mind and soul, then loving others as I want to be loved. Sure it’s no easy task, especially in the selfish world of art, but we have to be able to recognize when we are being consumed or when one of the spokes of our wheel is becoming our identity again. This is what I’ve been counteracting everything that begins to consume my wheel with; and also what needs to be in my wheel presently and daily – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. I want this to be my identity! I want this to define who I am! I want to take this to my marriage, my son, family, music, stage, conversations and life in general. I want these to counteract any negative emotions and it’s up to me to recognize when I’m being consumed and put these into place. If I can practice this daily, in the present, I believe my identity will not be my own, but one of a light that shines brighter than I ever could!
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. – Phil 4:13
I can make it through anything in the one who makes me who I am…
White Collar Sideshow is a RYFO band, but they are also part of one of our partner ministries, Steiger International. Steiger is a worldwide mission organization that is called to reach and disciple the Global Youth Culture for Jesus. They use art, music and other forms of creativity to present Jesus in a clear and relevant way, and establish a long-term presence in urban centers through ongoing outreach, discipleship and local church partnership.