Michael McIntyre is one of the most enthusiastic, go-getting, money-producers out there today. He loves people, loves business, and loves Jesus.
I haven’t had the opportunity to chat with many musicians for my podcast, so when I learned that I would get to speak with producer and musician Blake Kanicka, I was thrilled. This guy has his hand in just about every level of the music world, from producing successful commercial music, to on stage successes with artists like Jason Castro and For King and Country. Blake admits that he’s more of a “behind the scenes” person, but I think that puts him in just the right spot to share his wisdom and gifts that God has so obviously given him.
It became clear early in our conversation that Blake is sensitive to the emotional weight of his craft. The way this guy can talk about the power of music, worship, and Creation has a way of tugging at your heartstrings. Music really is the heart of the matter to Blake, and through music, God has given him a gift of being able to see wisdom where others can’t. That wisdom is what I’m going to share with you today.
One of the coolest things that Blake was able to share with me was his own struggles with pride and limelight. He described being onstage as this terrific rush:
“People cheer for you, and it just does something for you.”
So you can already see how difficult it would be to remember that it was by God’s own goodness that Blake landed in the spotlight. It would be all too easy for him to take all the credit for the success he had found in music. Instead, Blake embraced the struggle and worked hard to turn the spotlight away from himself, and back onto God and those He has granted talent.
Where are you placing your spotlight? Are you shining a light on yourself to make your name great, or are your leveraging your passion and calling to make His name great?
It is really evident that God has given Blake an incredible capacity to experience and understand music in a way that I had never heard before. The way he describes it, writing music—real, truthful, God-inspired music—is like setting off on an expedition. As he writes, he imagines himself to be a treasure hunter. Blake and his fellow artists are not inventing or reinventing music. They are not creating something out of nothing! No, they are looking to God as the source of their craft and digging up what He has left for them to find.
I love the way Blake set this up for me, because it takes the power out of his hands, and gives it back to our Creator. It’s like me saying, “God, I’m not building a new house, I’m just using my hands to refashion the materials you’ve given me.” It really is a testimony to the watching world that God is our source and our provider. I’m thankful for that wisdom Blake shared with me.
What treasure are you searching for? Are you a musician, like Blake, hunting for divine melodies? Or are you a writer looking for the right words? A parent hunting for grace for your children? A boss searching for wisdom to manage his employees? Don’t forget where those good ideas come from!
Embrace the Mysterious
I’ll leave you this week with one last compelling word of wisdom. Blake does not strike me as the kind of person who goes for the obvious answer. He looks deep. Blake stares into some of the greatest mysteries in Creation, and turns them into song. Whether that’s in a less obvious arrangement or an opportunity to work with a new musician or band, he takes the time to try something he, or someone else, has never tried before. It takes endurance and discipline to create a world with music, as any art worth pursuing takes endurance and discipline.
That isn’t just solid advice for an artist. It’s actually a pretty fantastic way to live out our potential and live for Christ! Embrace the mysterious things in life you might not have answers for just yet. Don’t take the easy, obvious road, and instead, blaze a new trail. Try something you’ve never tried before; you might just find God waiting for you there. Take courage from other explorers who have gone before you, and be prepared for a struggle.
Divine secrets won’t give up their solutions easily.
A talk with Blake makes you want to do something. So, what is it you’ll do, and who will you do it for?
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