I was performing originally composed country music songs at songwriters nights around town in Nashville. I did not have God in my life as yet and I had not totally given my life to Christ. There is a difference between the two. Here’s the difference:
The Self-Directed Life
- Self is “on the throne of your heart”
- Christ is outside your life
- Interests are directed by self, often resulting in discord and frustration
The Christ-Directed Life
- Christ is in your life and “on the throne”
- Self is yielding to Christ
- Interests are directed by Christ, resulting in harmony with God’s plan
I was invited to sing on The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville by the director for Jimmy’s Snows Gospel Hour (Hank Snow’s brother) simply from a photo he received from a friend of mine. Here’s the photo. I met the gentlemen in route to the Opry and then got in his car and rode with him. In the parking lot of the Opry he stopped and said, “Pull out your guitar and show me if you can sing”. Next thing I knew I was backstage on the Grand Ole Opry playing the song on my guitar so the backup singers and musicians could chart the song and accompany me later. When it was my turn to perform, Jimmy Snow introduced me saying he had never heard me sing (I suppose a disclaimer in case I flubbed up!) I sang the only song about God that I knew called, He Is Beautiful To Me. Unfortunately, I was not raised in a church or church choir whereby I would have know many hymns and songs. I want to encourage people that you can still grow yourself spiritually regardless and at any age. Coincidentally, I had been practicing this very song as it was one of my favorites. Therefore, when I was invited to sing on Jimmy Snow’s gospel hour, I was prepared. There was an applause in the middle of the song, which later I learned is how they demonstrate they accept you on the Grand Ole Opry.
It is uncanny that my opportunity to sing on the Grand Ole Opry required a song about God. God works in mysterious ways. Here’s a no name person, invited to sing on The Grand Ole Opry by someone who had never heard me sing, on the show of a famous person who also had never heard me sing, allowing me to walk on The Grand Ole Opry stage with my guitar and sing in public about God of which I had never done before! Ever! Not even in a church! I sang a song about God when I didn’t fully know God and before I was transformed by giving my life to Christ. Let me repeat what I just said because it’s VERY important. There’s a different between getting up on stage and singing Gospel Songs yet not having given your life to Christ as compared to songs coming from the heart who has surrendered to Christ. It is Distinctly Different!
This was the first indication in my life that I was to write and perform songs about God rather than secular songs, even before I knew much about God. To understand more fully what Jesus meant by being transformed into a new person, you can look at II Corinthians 5:17. There, the apostle Paul tells us that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. I suppose when God mysteriously and out of the blue slaps you on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry out of no where on the condition that you sing a song about Him, that’s a pretty strong message of what He has designed you to do and what your purpose is!