Show Me The Way
Back in 1969 and’70, as a 17 year old high school senior, I used to attend Friday night dances, we called them sock hops, at Mother McAuley; a girl’s Catholic High School in Oak Lawn, on the far south side of Chicago. And every several weeks there was a great local band there by the name of TW4 that played current songs from famous rock groups, as well as some of their own original material. There were four members, led by Denny, their keyboard player. The stage was set up a few steps from the floor of the cafeteria where the band played, so we were able to easily see and talk to the guys. Between sets, they would sit down and speak with us – which was quite something because we were only 17 and they were already in their early twenties. They had big dreams; to follow in the footsteps of groups like Chicago and Three Dog Night.
One night they were getting ready to finish their last set, and announced that the group had decided to change their name and would now be known as Styx. The rest is history – they became one of the the greatest rock bands in the country. Their hits included songs such as Lorelei, Paradise, Lady, Grand Illusion, Babe, The Best of Times, Come Sail Away and of course, the title of tonight’s post, Show Me The Way. They became my favorite group, in part because I knew them before they hit the big time.
So, tonight, Dennis DeYoung, their leader, returned to Indianapolis and brought his current band to play with the Symphony Orchestra. Janet and I were there, with our friends Dave and Karen. It was loud, and it was odd to see all the 60ish men and women singing and dancing to the music that became so popular in the late ’60’s and ’70’s. It was like an old fashioned rock concert, before the days of the super venues we have now. But, oh, did it bring back the memories to me! How clearly I remember standing in front of the stage at McAuley waiting for them to start playing, and how I loved speaking with Denny (now Dennis) between sets. And I couldn’t decide if I was happy or perhaps a little sad tonight. I think I got stuck in the past a little.
Back then, we had our whole lives in front of us. Denny was 23, and I was 17. Who would have thought that he would go on to fame and Broadway, and become one of the greatest keyboard players of all time? And who would have thought that I would have owned companies, then gone to seminary, and now I help companies, do ministry, preach and write this blog? Oh, please don’t get me wrong. I am not envious or jealous of what Dennis has accomplished. He was incredibly talented and God has blessed me abundantly in other ways.
But I am sure that neither of us would have ever thought our lives would turn out as they have. And as I look back, I can’t help but think that I have at times been a poor steward of the resources that the Lord has entrusted to me. And with 40 years of perspective, tonight I was more the 17 year old teenager, rather than the 58 year old minister. And for a time, it felt good to be back there. But I am here, not there, and God had a reason for directing my steps the way He did.
I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” How full of hope I was back then, and looking forward to the future! And God still is giving me hope, and a future, even today. His love for each of us withstands the test of time! So my encouragement tonight is to let you know that our steadfast God has a plan for you as well – a plan to give you hope, and a future. And my prayer is that you will seek God to “show you the way” to find out His will for your life. Because most of us are not intentional about trying to figure out where God wants us in His Kingdom. Too many of stay in the comfort of where we are without challenging God to have His “way” with us and move us to achieve our greatest work for His purposes.
I had hoped that I would be able to connect with Dennis tonight after the show, and just let him know that I remember those days when he first got started. But his agent let me know that he was just too busy. I was disappointed, but understand – maybe I’ll catch him another time.
And that’s okay, because God is never too busy to meet with me, and He is waiting to speak with me right now…….. Have a great day with the Lord!