And the award goes to…
Accepting for God is…
Since our recent release of "The Mμne-Pi Parables"—our latest SIDzCarbonatedMilk project, we have received many accolades, critical acclaim, and much high praise for the music, lyrics, and performances contained and showcased within. As producer, performer, and composer/arranger of "TM-PP", much praise has been lauded me. I immediately share the credit with the rest of the cast—as indeed I must. Although any waning sense of honesty and fairness would impel me to extol them so, I also really believe it serves to encourage us all—especially considering our being an indie operation that is blessedly free of the artificial Baby, you're beautiful hype machines that seed and feed to cultivate cold stars. [As such, just monetary reflections in sales commensurate with said praises and acknowledgements have not just yet been as immediate.] Addressing my own laudatory launches, the reactions from my "band-mates" tend mostly to be humble deflective shuns of my praise toward them and immediate reciprocal projections of said praise. They will ah-shucks the delivery of commendations and express their appreciation for my making them a part of what they will tell me "…is an excellent project." I know them; I know that their reactions do not at all fall under the classification of false modesty. It's just a matter of their being well balanced between manners and candor in a society that frowns upon even the faintest whiff of arrogance.
After the announcement of a performing artist receiving an award, at the podium they are heard to say, "I am humbled by this great honor bestowed upon me." There are many legitimate feelings that go with being honored; being brought down to size is one I must admit having much trouble understanding. Is the utterance perhaps purposed as a pride-prophylactic—instituted so as not to incur the Biblical fall promised to cometh after pride?
As disciple’d Christians, we should live by the implied tenants of Deuteronomy 8:17-18
17You may say to yourself, "My strength and power of my hands have produced wealth for me," 18but remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
The cast of the album and I are truly a most gifted bunch—again, in the truest sense of the modifier gifted.
In the moderne lazy-tongued lexicon, among the many contextually colloquialize’d casualties, is the gelded gilded term gifted. Its utilization in connection with talent and unique expansive acumen should infer that said recipient has been graced with the outstanding ability that identifies, and to a great degree, defines them. What we have to give is but that which was given us. Sans the gifting, there are no gifts for us to give. In effect, we are collectively middlemen in the transaction. Conversely however, the reactions to most anyone referring to themselves as gifted will most likely be very negative. This lures them into a coy dishonesty analogous to a recipient of a brand new Rolls Royce dismissing it as just a car. The benefited belittles the benefactor in devaluing the gift. Imagine acting in a similar fashion if someone was to compliment your spouse as being so very attractive. Naw…just a spouse.
True humility—in directing honor and credit toward the benefactor and acknowledging the gift's extremely high worth—would be deemed hubris. Maybe it is misinterpreted by critics as the proud confessor thinking himself a favorite of God, closer to Him than those not so ostensibly gifted by virtue of the gifting.
This then begs the question: Why are some so apparently gifted, while others seem sadly pedestrian in their given assignments in life?
Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonor? …or in other words: The owner of the material has the right to use it to create things for special occasions and/or basic everyday use.
“It's yo' thang; do whatchawanna do”—Isley Brothers
There is no rational argument against reasoning that God purposes unique gifts to certain persons in accordance to His perfect will. As the painter of the whole picture, He sees the whole picture. God demands of His servants a righteous return on His investments. [read: The Parable of the Talents in Mathew 25:14-30]
To whom much is given, much is required. In the broad scheme of things, He has selected each and everything and everyone for specific purpose within His own mindfully tight tolerances. I spent a very brief stint taking mechanical engineering courses. An automobile engine is among the most beautifully crafted works of practical art one might ever encounter. An exploded view of that engine will reveal thousands of intricate tiny parts and pieces that fit together in accordance with the engineer’s designs to perform so wonderfully its appointed mechanical wonders. There are components that are eye-popping; and there are more humble cogs and sprockets and hulking supports. Without them all being in place and working in order, the engine will not function as designed. And for all the good (or lack thereof) it does, it is then just a hulk of metal gone for nothing but show.
As an music arranger and/or orchestrator, I will certainly assign more ornate melody and countermelody lines to some particular instruments while resigning supporting instruments to seemingly boring passages that singled out seem infinitely outclassed by fanciful filigree of their more prominent counterpart siblings. On "Cancer", I utilized the extraordinary vocal talents of Cindy Young. When she played the recording for friends and family, many remarked that they couldn't hear Cindy. It was purposeful—my mixing the vocals with such tight close harmony that one voice would not be heard so much over its counterparts. But it wasn’t at all because I necessarily wanted to bury Cindy’s performance. And while Cindy's beautifully rich and powerful vocals weren't highlighted as such, the wonderful difference made by adding them to Sarah's, Siloam's, and mine was incredible. The truth is… Any capable arranger hears the musical arrangement as a whole. The perfect arrangement is often times one so delicately balanced that the effect of an unheard or misplayed musical presence compromises the entire piece. An orchestra member missing a note may go unnoticed by an audience but for a few witnessing the consternation on a conductor's face.
The whole place is His place. And it is our place to stay in our place in His place at His pace, rather than be somewhere else in place of where we're appointed by Him to be.—SID
As servants of our Father, we are to be like obedient waitpersons walking the busy floor of God's restaurant. Our lives are metaphorical serving trays upon which the works of the Master's hands are loaded to be taken out and served to His hungry waiting patrons (so much the reason that the trays should always to be kept clean). It is not for the waiter to question why he has been assigned a certain dish to pick up and serve to his table. It would be ludicrous for a waitress to be jealously distressed over her never having an order of filet mignon and lobster tails to serve, rather than her being limited to presenting the mid-priced fare on the menu.
The tag line at the movie’s happy ending is, "Welcome in, good and faithful servant." And the winner is…
…God—that He will forever get to enjoy the works of His hand for their righteous utilization of His investment.