Son’s lack of fear displays his courage in an audition

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“I need to borrow your guitar, Dad.”  That was the request of my 8-year old last week. “I’m trying out for the spring talent showcase.”

I had to interject and remind him that he does not know how to play the guitar — never had a lesson.

He informed me that he was going to sing a song and also play it on guitar. I didn’t like the idea of sending him to school with my guitar, especially since he doesn’t know how to play guitar. 

I honestly tried to talk him out of auditioning because he was not prepared and had never even practiced before.  He was going to attempt a song that he loves to sing in the car, and accompany it with the six-string. 

However, he was not to be discouraged or sidetracked per my requests.

He auditioned last week and the only change was that he sang and played a djembe, an acoustic drum instead of a guitar- to which he also has never had a lesson on.

I went to the audition waiting area, watching and observing nervous kiddos rehearsing and reciting their lyrics, orchestrating their choreography. 

I walked over and asked my son if he was nervous, to which he replied, ”Nope.” I was very nervous for him even though he wasn’t. 

I then asked him what he was going to do once he got inside the audition, how was he going to perform the song? He replied, “I’m going to wing it.” 

“What!” As he leaned on the doorframe of the gym gazing at a few kids playing dodge ball, without looking at me he repeated calmly, “I’m going to wing it.” As the rational adult, I know these things don’t pan out … lack of preparation plus no practice plus wingin’ it equal bad combinations.

I took my seat next to a few other parents awaiting my son’s audition. Finally, his name was called. He carried in his drum, auditioned behind closed doors, exited and said I’m ready. 

“How did it go?  I asked. “Good. I think I did pretty good.”  I smiled at him and we drove home.

While retelling this story to my wife, I couldn’t help but to think about courage.  Somewhere between 8 years of age and adulthood, we often lose it.

The words and discouragements of others often ring louder than our heart’s desires. How different many lives would look if we weren’t afraid of failure, if we weren’t afraid of what other people thought, if we weren’t afraid to be all that God created us to be. 

The Bible reminds us that because of what God has done for us, we do have a song to sing. Psalm 40:1-3 King David writes, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”

I’ve been reminded of how differently the world looks through the eyes of an 8-year-old auditioning for a spring showcase: unafraid, uninhibited, singing from the heart … wingin’ it with a drum.

My son didn’t pass auditions this year, but I’m certain there’s an album due out in the near future. Grace.


The Rev. Jay Montgomery is youth pastor at the First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Ky.