Camaraderie in a Competitive Field

I remember this one particular audition where I was standing with some frkt_mwf_20160629_1186iends of mine, everyone anxious to begin (and get over with) the difficult process of the audition. All being friends, we were trying to encourage one another, while still remaining aware that this was a competition, and success for any one of us would mean failure for the rest. One of us remarked, “At least we can be supportive regardless of what happens. We don’t have to get cutthroat.” This was met by someone walking by scoffing and saying “Yeah right, you all know this is dog eat dog and every one of you wants the gig. You’d leave your friends for it.”

The awkward silence that fell made me really think about how to approach this audition. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:25, and 1 Peter 4:8-10 are all written by different authors but each has the same message of encouraging one another without holding a grudge. These passages are only a very small selection of those verses that speak the same way on this topic. Ephesians 4:29 says not to speak against one another; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is a famous passage about how much stronger we are united; Galatians 6:2 tells us that we should actually carry one another’s burdens. The message is clear, and yet, only one person will get that gig.

As Christian artists, we have been woodwinds-smilinggiven a special gift in these situations. Everything we do in this life, whether artistic, in our business, our families, or anything else we do should be done as unto the glory of God alone (Colossians 3:23). That is our responsibility, and that is our entire responsibility. The audition or the job, both are to be handled with the same Biblically taught standards of excellence, taking our full attention and effort. The reason for this is simple: as Christians, we are the visible extensions of Jesus Christ on the earth. People see how we act, how we play, how we sing, how we dance, and they will watch our attitude in how we do them.

If we can focus on the Lord, doing His work and giving Him the glory, then our performance will be a success because it will point the world in His direction.

They will see the discipline, the kindness, and the gifts that God has given us that we have taken the time to develop. In doing so, they may see God shining through us, whether we’re handing out food to the homeless or playing that concerto with humility and skill. If we can focus on Him then it won’t matter whether or not we get the job – He will be glorified in any circumstance. It all weaves together into His greater plan through which all things will work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Chapter 55 of Isaiah paints a clear picture of God’s providence for us, and his overarching plan that is bigger than anything we can see.kt_mwf_20160714_5803

If we get the job, it is to His glory and we don’t have to worry about what will happen to us. If we don’t get the job though, it is still to His glory and we don’t have to wor ry about what will happen to us. Noah worked on the ark for decades before he saw the rain, Abram waited a lifetime before he had a child, Simeon waited we don’t know how long before he saw the Messiah. God does not forget His promises – don’t despair.

So, encourage your friends and colleagues. Rejoice when they rejoice and mourn when they mourn. Don’t begrudge them the opportunities they’ve been given if you don’t see the same in your own life – your skill is not dependent on getting the job, it is dependent on God alone and He will hold up His end of the bargain, no matter how that ends up looking. Ultimately, it is all to His glory, and everything else is taken care of.