Success

fameI went to see Fame tonight, with a few friends. Despite having heard of some bad reviews, I really enjoyed it. Perhaps having not seen the original meant that I could enjoy this on its merits. There were a couple of parts of the movie that really stuck with me that I wanted to share.

Kevin, a dancer, knows at his audition that he’s going to get a job in a professional ballet company. However, despite working harder than any other dancer, he just doesn’t become the strong dancer that he needed to be. When the dance teacher declines his request for a letter of recommendation, he is distraught. And then, horror of all horrors, she goes on to suggest that he might become a wonderful teacher. *shudder* His life long hopes and dreams crushed, he goes down to the subway to catch a ride home, and comes very close to ending his life.

A bit later, Jenny is giving a speech on stage. I would have loved to find the text, but I can’t find it anywhere on the net yet. But she talks about how Success isn’t measured by fame, or money, but by love, and by waking up every morning and flying out the door because you’re so happy to be doing what you’re doing.

I can relate to both of these. I did 5 years at a performing arts institution. I went in thinking I’d be happy with being a teacher, then while there, got so into performing that it was all I wanted to do. I had my heart set on being an orchestral musician. Then towards the end of my time, I realised that I didn’t have what it took to become an orchestral musician. If I could have devoted 4-5 hours a day for the next year, and paid for my lessons, perhaps. But I didn’t have that commitment. While I had a wonderful knowledge about violin and how it works, and the music, I didn’t have the skills needed to take me to that next level of performance.

This was a bit of a shock for me to realise this. But considering that I went in there thinking I’d be a teacher, it wasn’t as far removed that I got too down on myself. But this year, God had different plans for me. I started getting interested in Guitar, in leading worship. I started hearing the call to serve him in ministry with my (then) girlfriend, whom i will marry in September next year.

In the space of 10 months, I have gone from full on Performance, to moving away from music and into ministry. Am I disappointed with myself? No. Were the last 5 years a waste? No.

I have a most wonderful Fiancée, whom I will both live and work with, I’m being called to serve my God in a most wonderful ministry which I’m both scared and excited about, and I am having a lot of fun leading worship when I can. And that is what I’m judging my success on – I am loved, I have someone to love, and I love what I do, so much that I can feel like I’m flying out the door.

So my life didn’t end up how I planned in high school. I much prefer this life.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

3 thoughts on “Success”

  1. I think this is fantastic. I agree with you -you look like you are having a great life. As someone who was there for the journey -I want to say how glad I am that you have made it this far.

    Music is never wasted -you will use it all your life.

    I never regretted that I was a trained teacher, even though I did not spend very long actually teaching in schools. I used the skills in every job I had!

    1. Hi indyastari, thanks for your comment.
      Music is a wonderful investment and never wasted. Look to find ways to peak your interest in it. What type of music do you like listening to? Try and find ways that the instrument you’re learning is used in that style of music. It will sometimes surprise you – a cello quartet playing heavy metal? It exists. Flute beatboxing? You can find it on youtube. Find links to what you already like, and keep your interest through that

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