23 May 2011

when it's time to go

Here we go with one of those art imitating life which is imitating art situations. And since it revolves around David Crowder Band, it is quite appropriate to have the mixing of the two. In a press release issued Saturday, the band announced that its sixth album (along with the upcoming fall tour) would be its last.

There is a perception in our culture that success is built into doing the same thing forever . . . or, for as long as is physically possible. This seems to be true in popular music, since the coveted longevity and unending 'relevance' is a sought after prize. And there is a certain truth to the quality of a band which has been able to sell music over the course of many years (for some, decades). The Christian music scene has often followed suit on this, assuming that if it is 'for the ministry' then it must continue on until Jesus comes back.

I'm not going to list any specifics on this, for that would be a matter of taste and distracting to my main point. But I think we can identify some Christian musicians who have continued making albums which were not actually any good, mostly from their commitment to their 'ministry' (and the fear of losing their place at the CCM table). Of course, these albums have been purchased in large number, but I often wonder if it is because of the Christian sub-genre or if it is legitimately solid music. I suppose it becomes a case-by-case basis. (Let me note that I do not think all Christian music is bad . . . I simply refuse to assume that all Christian music is good because of its adjectival label.)

What I appreciate about David Crowder Band's exit is that it happens on the time of their calling, not on the failure to sell recordings or pack out arenas. I would almost say it is on their time, but their point is to say that it is on God's time that they depart. Their statement cites new horizons of personal growth and exploration, a change of scenery in the past ten years, and new families which have come into their midst. In other words, there is life to be lived which is more abundant than this band. Sadly, most believers won't understand this decision.

Based on a few statements which I have caught over the past couple of years of following DCB, I have figured that they were intentionally on a journey that had a set completion to it. So I was not surprised by the news. However, it is still a bit sad for their voice to become still for a season.

There is wisdom and maturity in our ability to see the bigger picture in this life. So often we get caught up in the shortsightedness that we forget about the eternal. Here is a great reminder that the abundance of the life of Jesus is not something reserved for a sweet by-and-by. Rather, it is something which surrounds us every minute . . . if we allow ourselves to have eyes to see.

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