Not Everything Needs A Shine
In his new book, former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl relates a story about how he met two different rock-n-roll legends at an event he attended.
At first, Grohl was starstruck to get to meet two of his heroes, but then he took a closer look at both of them and had an epiphany.
One of the stars had undergone a lot of plastic surgery, dental implants, and a host of other anti-aging measures. He gleamed and glistened with a startling white smile, looking to Grohl like a meticulously restored vintage car.
Grohl was not impressed. Instead, he gravitated to the other of his heroes, whose weathered face and wizened appearance, topped by a mop of grey hair showed the story of his journey.
Grohl realized at that moment which person he would rather become. He made a promise to himself:
That I would aspire to become the rusted-out hot rod, no matter how many jump-starts I might require along the way. Not everything needs a shine, after all... To me, that is beauty. Not the gleam of prefabricated perfection, but the road-worn beauty of individuality, time, and wisdom.
I love that so much. I have been a huge Dave Grohl fan for a long time, and this just endeared him to me even more. From every evidence I have seen, I believe that Grohl lives his life filled with joy and wonder, showing kindness, playfulness, creativity, energy, and love.
There's this verse from the prophet Isaiah in the Hebrew Scriptures that came to mind as I was reflecting on Grohl's quote. It's a verse that I have read differently throughout my life, depending on my context and circumstances. Here it is:
But those who keep waiting for the LORD will renew their strength. Then they’ll soar on wings like eagles; they’ll run and not grow weary; they’ll walk and not grow tired. (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)
Today, I'm reading this verse as a promise to those of us who have a little less tread on our tires, if you know what I mean.
Experience has taught me that there is beauty in the deepening lines on my face, carved there no doubt by literally thousands of different moments of worry, anger, joy, sorrow, toughness, and tenderness.
I also know that I probably should have been dead a hundred times or more over the course of my journey. I've had my heart broken more than once. I have lost faith and found it again.
I've been filled with regret. I have grinned from ear to ear out of joy. I have sobbed myself to sleep. My heart soars when I hear a great guitar solo, and a song I can sing at the top of my lungs.
I still believe in love.
I've also discovered something about what it means to "keep waiting for the Lord." It's about patience and trust. I'm learning what it means to be willing to sit for a while and let the path forward be revealed. I'm constantly surprised by grace.
If this resonates with you in any way---go ahead and testify just a bit, right where you are. And when I say "testify" that's just the Pentecostal in me showing, and it merely means... say "Amen!" or "Preach!" or something like that.
You can also do this. Put your hand on your heart, and if it's beating, know that you aren't done by any stretch of the imagination, no matter what is happening around you, and no matter what wear and tear you've experienced on the road.
Not only are you beautiful with all your lines and creases, dents, and cracks, you have a great and glorious purpose. Be patient. Wait on the Lord. You will be lifted up.
May it be so for you today and every day. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.