Did I mention that I am taking banjo lessons? I have been at this since the middle of July. Today I faced a new opportunity with my banjo. An opportunity to take a chance. My banjo teacher told me about a group of folks that meet on the square in Denton (10 miles north of here) to pick and grin (obviously grinning is optional), and suggested that I should go and “jam.” So I took the journey north this morning to check out this group. I even took my banjo with me. Did I take my banjo out of the truck and “jam?” No, I did not. There were about 10 people playing when I arrived, and the number kept growing as more arrived. There was only one banjo player in the group, and he was very good. Of course, I told myself that he had probably been playing for 50 years, so he should be good. That didn’t alleviate my fears at all.
So, I got to thinking about taking chances and doing things that scare or intimidate us. Zac Brown (one of my favorites) says “You only get one chance in life to leave your mark upon it, so when the pony he comes ridin’ by, you better sit your sweet ass on it.” Was this my one chance? Probably not – this group meets every Saturday. There will be other “pony ride-bys.”
There are, however, bigger and more important chances that we encounter from time to time, that can be scary. Please indulge me as I continue to quote from some of my favorite artists/philosophers, as they have commented on this subject in their songs. Ray Price sings, “I’d rather be sorry for something I’ve done, than for something that I didn’t do.” Or how about “When you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” That’s how Lee Ann Womack feels. Speaking of failure, Martina McBride says, “Do it anyway.” Well you get my drift. This blog is obviously as much for me as it is for you. We need to step out and take those scary chances. We need to continue to challenge ourselves.
But, make sure that those things you decide to do are grounded in integrity, compassion, and justice. Because as my most favorite philosopher/country singer Toby Keith says, “There ain’t no right way to do the wrong thing.” I think I’ll go practice my banjo.