2nd place

I shall start with a quote that I believe in wholeheartedly - - -

"What does it mean to be the boss / It means 2nd place is the first one that lost" -- Kanye West (Power remix feat. Jay-Z)

The biggest catastrophe is not coming in last place. At least when you come in last, there is something so remarkably redemptive about the whole thing. Extremes aren't hard to deal with - We can bounce back from extremes. We can go from last to first pretty easily. The bitter taste of defeat sparks new creativity. New beginnings. New resilience.

My first album was garbage - it was a compilation of what I thought was great - It was presumed decent by me because I never heard anything that had my name on it prior to that. When I came out with my first solo album, people were amazed - b/c it was such a huge step up from what I did before. The second time around wasn't that much of a shock - and the third time around won't be either - or will it?

My biggest fear is not becoming a disaster - or becoming a drug addict - or failing at everything I do. My biggest fear is being in 2nd place - where I almost lived up to my God-given potential, but just missed the mark. I have been excessively convicted of the things I do that can make me play to win 2nd place - these are little things - but they add up to number 2. They add up to just missing the prize - what are these for you? What makes you get 2nd place - over, and over, and over. What makes you get into a profession that is good, but not where your soul thrives?What makes you get a good boyfriend or girlfriend, but they end up being just shy of great? What makes you revert back to your old lifestyle? - sure, it may not be as bad as it once was, but it's just as far from the best as your old life was.

I've been thinking alot about 2nd place - and this is my basic conclusion. Second best comes when you just get tired. Second place creeps up on you when you are so sick of fighting. I mean common - how long are we supposed to struggle - fight - resist - be alone - focus - and the list goes on? Isn't there relief from such anxiety, such passion, such desire? How come I try and try but my music can't get placed on mass distribution networks? How come I'm so close to being one of the best in the game but not quite there? How come my friends end up in decent relationships? - Not ones that change human history. Why? Why do people decide when they want to be on point, and when they want to relax? Why do we think a certain way when we are around certain people, and then dumb it down when we are around others? Why? Because we are so damn tired. We are exhausted. We don't believe that consistency will win. We haven't fully bought into that whole redemption theory. The whole idea that a man on a Cross changed everything - and we don't have to go for second best - we don't have to grab the next best thing.

Jesus - give me and my people the best. If you don't feel us ready for the best, give us the worst until we are ready for the best. But Jesus, please don't give us 2nd best. We need nothing short of your compassion and grace. Amen.

Peace, and much love to you - John Baptist!


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