Guest Blog: August Burns Red
Today we’ve got another guest blog written by Jake Luhrs, vocalist of August Burns Red, titled “A Dream, A Life”
God gives us all gifts and tools to live out our dreams and our passions. He gives us drive to live out our purpose, and some may not realize it at the moment, but it is there, and it’s ours and only ours.
I had a dream to be a touring musician; to be an artist, get on a stage, and share my message, stories, thoughts, and emotions. That was my dream. So how did I get there?
When I was younger, I worked two jobs, I sold my fully loaded Nissan Maxima for a ‘91 Chevy cargo van, and worked at a printing company only to use my paychecks to make my bands t-shirts so that I had something to sell at shows. I worked at a music store for a while, and with every purchase from a customer, I’d put a flyer of my band’s upcoming show in the bag as a way to self-promote. I’d save money so that my band could record demos and then spend our weekends burning CD’s to have copies to sell at shows. I’d go to Kinkos to make CD covers and paid a tattoo artist to draw up our artwork. The band split the rent for a storage unit to practice at 3 days a week, 5-9 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays. I befriended the local promoters and they would get us on the upcoming shows with signed, touring bands so we could open for their shows in our home town. We booked weekend “mini tours” to play out of town and build our resume of where we’ve played and who we’ve played with. We saved up to buy better, more efficient equipment so that we had good sounding gear to play with. Etc.
These are all examples of taking initiative to pursue the dream we had, the dream I had; the dream I was determined to live out. I had people tell me all the time that I wasn’t going to make it. They’d ask me, “Jake, What are your plans? What are you going to do with your life?” I told them I was going to be a touring musician, that I was going to tour, play music, get a record deal, and be in music magazines. They would laugh at me, they would put me down, they would tell me their was no way possible…
When I was in college, my music business professor gave me a staggering statistic: I had a .0001% chance of being a successful full time touring musician. I didn’t let that stop me. I didn’t let peoples’ words dash the dream I had, or destroy the devotion and ambition in my heart to make my dreams successful.
Now, my dream did not actually come true until I gave my heart to Christ. I truly believe that God was with me the entire time, building and molding me for the moment I finally saw how important His son Jesus is. He carried me to that point of giving my heart to Him, but I had to sweat, bleed, and work diligently. I had to sacrifice everything that I had.
I dropped out of college to pursue my music. I poured hours and hours into making and selling it. I ended up having to leave South Carolina, my family, friends, and all that I had ever known to pursue this dream. I had to tour with people I didn’t know. I had to live in a place I didn’t know. So I absolutely had to live in faith. And I lived in faith. Faith that this was what the Lord had for me, that He wanted me to do this, and that He wanted me to work diligently and be obedient in my faith. I needed to know that this was a dream not meant to be dreamt, but to be lived out.
To make our dreams a reality requires a lot of hard work; a lot of sweat and tears and time. It takes sacrifice, and it takes faith. Faith in God, and faith in yourself. You absolutely have to believe in yourself, and you have to believe that it is meant for you. Don’t associate yourself with people who do not support or believe in you. Be willing to work hard. Be willing to give; be willing to give a lot.