Chris Dooley

I've recently started learning how to play the bass guitar.  It's always been a dream of mine to be able to play music. I can remember back in my younger days I bought an electric guitar and had high aspirations of learning to play it.  I guess the visions of me standing in front of a sold out crowd rocking the guitar were clouding my judgement. I remember trying to teach myself to play. I had a couple of books that taught you the basic notes and I got to where I could strum something simple but it was very challenging to me.  My fingers never seemed to want to cooperate and bend the way they should. It wasn't long after I started that I gave up and put my guitar back in the closet to collect dust and eventually sell it.  

     Other times during my life I've found myself trying new things.  When I was in college I had public speaking and I thought for sure that I wouldn't pass it.  I had a horrible phobia of talking in front of people. Once we had to pair up with someone in the class and your partner got to pick your topic for your speech.  I was partners with this guy that I had never talked to in my life. He was a tall skinny guy with his hair buzzed on one side and ong on the other. He wore band shirts every day to class and didn't say a word to anyone, good or bad.  It kind of seemed like he was the outcast of the class. I could relate because I usually felt the same way. I remember asking him what he wanted me to do my speech on and he looked like he was thinking really hard before he said “Uhmm, Jack the Ripper.”  Needless to say, I wasn't happy with his choice. I couldn't talk in front of people as it was, let alone try to give a speech about some evil serial killer from the past. I just sat there and laughed at his choice and eventually he joined me laughing. Because I thought he was doing it on purpose to give me something that destined me to fail, I looked around trying to find something that he wouldn't know anything about too.  Finally, I found it on a magazine cover in the corner of the room. Muscle cars.

     I prepared for the speech in the library for three days.  I had my note cards lined up exactly the way I wanted them and thought I had a good speech prepared.  When Friday came, it was show time. I got the unfortunate honor of getting to go first. I fumbled my way up to the front and started my speech.  By the time I got through my first note card, my hands were trembling and I was in a cold sweat. I ended up fumbling my cards and got them out of order.  Needless to say, I failed the speech. Also, much to my surprise, my partner talked about muscle cars like he was Vin Diesel and passed with flying colors.

     Over the years, I've got better with public speaking.  I've had the honor of being able to get up in churches I've been to and say a few words or take up prayer requests.  After getting up in front of people so many times, my nervousness has calmed way down. I'm initially nervous but I can control it better now than I ever have in my life.  I'm almost to the point of where I'm comfortable up in front of smaller crowds now. But let's not go overboard and invite me to speak at your next public gathering! I've got to crawl before I walk!

     But anyway, back to the bass guitar.  I'll have had several lessons by the time this paper will be in print.  I started knowing absolutely nothing about the bass just a week or so ago, but now I can follow along someone playing the guitar.  Not only that, I can do a few things on my own. I think by the time I get into the advanced stage of learning it, I'll be decent at it.  My specialty at the moment is the opening verse and chorus of “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was the first thing I learned and I've tried it more than any other song, so I'm better at it than the others.  My version of “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen is still a work in progress. Keep your fingers crossed for me, because I have full intentions of sticking with this journey this time. I'm not going to give up already, because I can already see progress in just a couple weeks.  Who knows, my dream of being up on stage somewhere playing music might come true after all.

     I know the first place that I'm going to play once I get enough experience is right in front of my church.  If God gives me the talent and the ability to learn this gift, I'm going to try to use it for his glory in return.  I never want to be the main attraction; I'll just settle for being in the background. Because I don't want anything I do or say to be about me, but about God who's blessed me richly beyond what I deserve.  I'm a work in progress in more ways than one, be patient with me!


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