See the Forrest AND the Trees … June 22, 2013


color churchSue. Jerry. Lee. Paul. Peg. Maxine. June. Tom. And Corrine.

This is the list of all the people who attended my concert last night in Forrest, Illinois.

It is not often that I’m able to actually jot down the entire passenger manifest on my “Good Ship SpiriTed’s” journey. Usually there would be too many people for such a compilation. But last night these fine folks showed up for the concert … minus others. It reminded me of the saying, you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Actually, that’s not the problem, is it? Most of the time, we can’t see the trees because we stand at a distance and observe them in huge clumps and call them forests. Our society is preoccupied with creating islands of humanity which are separated from the mainland of “Peopledom,” while simultaneously insisting that we are also individuals. We just can’t seem to make up our minds.

Are we a tree–or are we a forest?

I must tell you–it is unique to perform in front of nine people. They are not a forest. They are an array of individual trees. You can either complain about the fact that there’s no forest, or you can choose to enjoy the branches and leaves provided.

Over the years I have learned not to take things for granted. Those who do soon have nothing to take. So my approach, rather than being one of sharing with an audience, was more conversational, personal and interactive.

Several astounding things came out through the experience. Once the gathered souls got over the shock of being part of a “chosen few,” they warmed. Matter of fact, by the end, when I was leaving the building, I had more people helping to load my van than I do when the auditorium is packed.

They felt a part of it. They were convinced that they were MORE than a forest from Forrest, Illinois, but instead, had been recognized as “specialized trees.” I think it’s the idea the Bible wants to get across to us about God: even though He’s the master of the universe, He craves intimacy with every one of His creations.

It was plenty intimate. Matter of fact, there were moments that were so tender that you almost had to look away.

So I am torn between the normal ego-driven marketing schemes of wanting to get my work out to more and more people so as to make a greater and greater impact, versus the simple beauty of breaking bread with a tiny gathering in an upper room.

Yes, I believe the problem is not that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Rather, somewhere along the line, we’ve lost the ability to see the trees because we have dubbed them “forest.”

I want to thank the people of St. Paul Lutheran for coming out on a Friday night on the beginning of summer to see something that they certainly could not conceive of in their minds.

Because Sue, Jerry, Lee, Paul, Peg, Maxine, June, Tom and Corrine–you are not just a forest.

Each one of you is a beautiful tree.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity


 Jonathots, Jr.!

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How could we fail if we had a “Maxine” there?? And while you’re at it, since you’ve dressed up, you might as well do the show!


  2. Like tis, Jon! Glad pays ou hada ‘Maxine’ amongst you


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