On Apr 13, 2007, Chad Johnson wrote a letter to his bands and fellow workers:
You're either someone I work with or someone I've met along the way.
I'm flying 31,000 feet above sea level and I don't know if this happens to everyone else and I'm just the last person to realize it, but I've noticed that I'm commonly inspired when I'm flying. Maybe it's the lack of quality oxygen, maybe it's the fact that I'm 31,000 feet closer to God, maybe it's that I'm forced to be still because I'm surrounded by complete (and often times overweight) strangers. Maybe it's the reality that, up here, the only thing I've got control of is my bladder and even that is a loosing battle. Maybe it's all of the above. Whatever it is, my heart is thinking a bit more than my mind.
It's obvious that I hear God more clearly when my brain and mouth aren't running a hundred miles a minute.
Something that God's been speaking to me is the opportunity that I/WE have to invest in the deeper things of life that really matter over those shallow temptations to keep it all together and pretend like every-thing's cool and under control. Truth is, most of life is completely out of my/our control. Thankfully, that's the way God saw fit to ordain it. Totally void of any "real" control. Any control we do experience is fleeting and normally not very reality based. Especially the kind of control that we'd like to think we have ownership over, namely, material possessions & relationships. Along with the seemingly chaotic experience we call "LIFE", God has also given "those that keep His law in their hearts" the promise that "None of OUR steps shall slide (Psalm 37:31)".
Which of you would have given up your higher education, your hometown, dedicated girlfriend, loving parents and warm bed to hit the road and never look back? Correct me if I'm wrong but you do it because A. you believe in something greater than yourself, B. any chance to experience rock stardom is worth the possible downside, C. You might actually "blow up" and D. You love it and wouldn't trade it for the world
I'm convinced that I've been allowed to have a place in this industry because God cares equally about a hurting scene kid (or band dude) as he does a starving Ethiopian.
For all the foolish things I've done in my days, I'm here to remind you that the only real investment worth pursuing is the one with the greatest pay off. As much as everyone and everything around you screams "more, more, MORE", I'm quietly whispering "In all things, whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do it ALL to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31)". Whether you realize it (or even accept it now), it's your absolute highest calling and strongest yielding investment. God has an incredible plan for your life and it's completely focused to bring Him glory through how you reflect Jesus to others and to share his glory with you. That might sound lofty or impersonal or as though I have it all together and you don't, but I believe it with all my heart as I continue to experience God's hand in my life. All of the soundscan numbers (or lack thereof), big tours, myspace "friends", web banners, radio adds, TV spots and shallow conversations of trivial meaning are all huge hints that I/WE are building an Empire. I don't know about you but I don't want an empire of DIRT. I want an empire of living, breathing, growing, hungry hearts. I'm praying that God gives you eyes to see His eternal reality and inspires you to pursue that deep that calls unto deep.
I've lost count of how many bands I've signed in my 9 years of being in the "record industry", and honestly, it doesn't even matter. Up until about a year and a half ago I had mostly avoided my true calling which is to serve others in love and to do it all to God's glory. I was mostly serving because I was paid to and it was my means to make an end. I'd like to start serving you because I want to see God move powerfully in your lives and to remind you that I care deeply about your personal life and even more importantly your walk with Jesus. How sad that a sincere phrase can sound so cliche. I mean it, regardless of how it might sound and despite of how often I loose focus on what matters.
If there is anything I can do for you, just name it. Prayer, honest conversation, even meaningless soundscan numbers. I'm learning to be a better servant. If Jesus could wash feet, I've got a lot of room to grow..........
I confess and apologize publicly for the years that I've focused mostly on the DIRT and not on the seeds growing (or dying) in it.
With Love & hope for what God Almighty, Jesus the Son and the Holy Ghost have in store for each of you,
"Now to him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or imagine according to the POWER that works in us, to him be the glory in the church to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:21)"