VIDEO: Phillip's American Idol Adventure 13: American Idol on the inside

Phillip’s American Idol Adventure! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like on the inside of American Idol Auditions, this is pretty much it.  Lots of crowd footage and no background music for this video, but it’s authentic!

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More updates here, and on my YouTube channel at: youtube.com/phillipgonzales

Who I Really Am

It’s 2:00am on the morning of American Idol auditions, and I am remembering who I really am, and I’m switching my audition song… again.  This will be the third time I’ve changed my main “audition song” in the past 24 hours.  Mostly I’ve been thinking about what is a good fit for my voice, what I think the judges will know, and what I know how to sing, but none of those are the most important thing.

They say over and over again in the FAQs, message boards, etc., that the most important thing is to “just be yourself”, to be “authentic”, and it occurs to me that even without trying, the tendency to quietly slip into the molds we think other people want us in is ever-present, and has caught up with me already.

You see, I am a Christian.  More than that, in fact, because that term has been so diluted and confused with all the “cultural Christianity” and misconceptions of what true salvation is.  I am a Christ-follower. I gave up my life long ago, only to have it replaced with a new one the follows a different path.  Now, for me to “be myself” means that in everything I do I seek to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ.  Therefore, if the most important thing is to be authentic, then the most important thing is not for me to pick the song that I think will push me forward, but the one that Jesus places in my heart to be a true and faithful witness to Him.

All around me, such dreams, such fears, such hope, such insecurities!  All around me are calls from the peddlers of ideas, all trying to sell some idea of how to find personal worth and feel like I have value.  Here’s the thing… the drive to “be something” has at its core a desperate need to prove to the world by my accomplishments that I have value.  It says that my worth is determined by my status, fame, money, achievement, etc., and that to really matter I must make a good showing for those around me.  Think about this… thousands and thousands of people will audition tomorrow, and many more thousands in other upcoming locations, because they are following their dream and want to “be something”.

Have you realized though, how there are HUGE problems with this mindset?  If I am to be evaluated on the basis of my accomplishments, whose criteria am I measured against?  How do I know what it is and when it changes, and how long my “measurement” will last before having to re-prove myself again?  It’s madness!  In the midst of trying to “be something” comes the subtle fear that whatever I achieve or become, it won’t be enough, because there will always be something greater, someone better.

No, this is not how I am called to live; not who I am called to be!  I am called to be one thing: a true and faithful witness of Jesus Christ.  My worth is found in my position in Him and His possession of me, period.  Whether I win or lose, whether I triumph or fail, whether my name is known to many or few, I have value and worth and identity in Him, and that is all that matters.

When “tomorrow” morning comes (it’s really just later today), the most important thing is not that I sing with passion and vocal clarity, that I hit the notes right or make good eye contact.  The most important thing is not that I pick the song the judges want to hear, that I remember all the words and pronounce them right.  The MOST important thing is that I am a true and faithful witness of Jesus Christ in everything, from my presence to my answers to the song that I sing.  Disregarding all other things, all other hopes, all other ideas or criteria or advice, I must be true to myself, and come what may, the only way to do that is this: to be true to Him.

Phillip Gonzales
7/9/09

Almost there…

Only 5 hours to go before American Idol auditions begin!  I’m not really nervous, just wanting to do my part to make this whole experience all that god wants it to be.

Not so long ago it would have been my biggest dream to be a STAR, but now, truthfully… my biggest dreams are to bring glory to Jesus Christ, bring hope and joy to people, make a large-scale impact for good in the world, have and love a wife, and raise a family.  Everything else is only a means to those ends.

Now, I also know that only the first one of those has eternal significance, so on the one hand it would seem that I should try and let go of the others.  However, when I think of God’s promise in Scripture… “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4), I believe that as I am faithful to delight myself in Him, He will change my desires to match His will, and those that remain He will fulfill in His time.

This means then, that it’s not my job to try and do the work of changing my heart from the inside out, only to seek Him and His righteousness, and let Him work it from the inside out.  What freedom then comes when I can let go; what joy!

Be still my soul, and wait for the Lord.

VIDEO: Phillip's American Idol Adventure 8: Morning comes, and we are silly

Phillip’s American Idol Adventure! After a long night waiting, the morning finally arrives and brings with it… more waiting.  In the meantime, we’re just a little punch-drunk from sleeplessness, but we sure are having fun!

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More updates here, and on my YouTube channel at: youtube.com/phillipgonzales

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