I don’t know what it is about skateboarding and drums but love for one invariably seems to feed love for the other. I started skateboarding when I was 6 years old and at the time it had already become generally accepted by society. That wasn’t always the case though. When surfers first started adapting their boards to the concrete, it was an outlaw sport. Punk Rock became synonymous with skateboarding for that exact reason. Both were outlets for individuality, freedom, and self-expression. Hence Vans Warped Tour being the largest traveling music festival and skateboard contest for 25 years.
When I was eight years old my dad brought home the original “Rock Band” video game, and without hesitation I grabbed the sticks and started playing the drums. I was drawn to it. I couldn’t explain why, but I could never escape it.
I didn’t intend on becoming a misfit
but in my religiously conservative upbringing I became Mr. Rebel himself. Long hair, skinny jeans, drums, skateboarding, all of it portrayed the opposite image that my church was attempting to display. I was confused because I didn’t understand why the two worlds couldn’t coexist. Didn’t God create everything? Is musical expression not one of His greatest gifts to mankind?
When I was 16 years old I had a pastor in this tradition sit me down, look me in the eyes, and tell me that if I want to play the drums I cannot serve God. Can you imagine the juxtaposition brewing inside of me as I played shows on Saturday night then went to church Sunday morning?
I am thankful, however, because that God-given passion never relented and has continued to chase me down to this very day. As I write this, I am never more confident of my desire and love for the drums as an expression of the gifts and talents God has given me. He placed this desire in my heart. He is the reason I play paradiddles along to the signal light blinker. He is the reason I air drum in my bed while falling asleep. He is the reason I purposely sit close and to the side of the stage at concerts and church so I can get the best possible view of the drummer.
I have had to learn lots of valuable lessons throughout this journey. I’ve had to learn to forgive those that told me drums and Jesus are not compatible. I’ve had to learn to trust that playing the drums is purposeful and not just “another silly hobby." I marvel when I look back over the years. After almost quitting drumming entirely when I first decided to commit and orient my entire life around the pursuit of following Jesus, I have learned to embrace this passion. I have played drums for studio albums, at weddings, at hundreds of church services, youth retreats, conferences, worship nights, and album release concerts all for the glory of God. The reality is that this gift has been given to me by my Creator.
If I ignored it, it would find me, because I would not be who I am truly supposed to be without it.
And every single person on this planet has a purpose. You have meaning. You have been given gifts, and passions, and desires that are unique and beautiful because the God of the universe has made you that way. How much more amazing would our world become if all of us truly recognized and believed this?