Friday, September 10, 2010


As some of you may have gathered, I've had a rather bad last few days due to a certain happening in the music world. Last Thursday, Mike Portnoy, drummer, songwriter, lyricist, public face, and creative driving force of my favorite metal band Dream Theater, abruptly left the band he's led for the past 25 years. Let me make this perfectly clear: Dream Theater is not Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy. And by leaving one of the best bands out there at the height of its career, he has lost whatever respect I had for him. I won't say any more on how heartbroken and angry I am on the subject. Maybe I'll post a rant on my music blog sometime.

Anyway, off on a reflective tangent. I was basically in grief after I heard the news. In fact, I went into denial for a day or so, thinking there was no possible way that he could leave--I couldn't even imagine Dream Theater without Portnoy. I thought it was some kind of bad joke. Once it became real to me, I became quite angry. No idea if I'll start bargaining next or how that would work here. Putting this into perspective, I was shocked by how broken up I was (and am) about it; it was like I'd lost a loved one. All this for a lousy band? For something that doesn't personally affect me at all? What's wrong with me? Maybe the sad news was a much-needed wakeup call.

This led me to thinking about how much trust I put into temporary things. Even the things we feel most secure in could be gone tomorrow. The impossible can happen without any warning. I'm sure you all have your own experiences proving this. Does it really make sense to look for happiness in things when we might not live to see tomorrow?

Jesus told a parable about this in Luke 12, which I think speaks to Christians and non-Christians alike.
 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
The parable is a sober warning for anyone who focuses on temporary, worldly things instead of eternal things (which we find by knowing God). So instead of storing up treasures you can't take with you, seek to become "rich toward God"--rich in eternal treasures like love, joy, wisdom, and a relationship with God.

And while you're still on earth, stick it to Dream Theater--listen to Queensrÿche!

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