Bangor Grounds Himself Before Going On-Stage

Daily Zero Draft — at least 300 words in 15 minutes with no edits

Bangor bowed his head behind the curtain as the crowd chanted his name. He wasn’t due on stage for five more minutes but his manager called him out early.

“They’ve been working themselves up — you gotta get out there before they tear this place apart!”

“Alright, just give me another minute.”

He hoped that would be enough to calm the shakes that often came over him before a performance. He’d learned to control them better over the years but they still came on strong in moments like this. If he didn’t take a few minutes to ground himself he would lose all control. And at this point in his career, and in his 428th day of sobriety, self control was absolutely necessary. There would be no tomorrow that he would be able to remember if he didn’t maintain control.

It was almost three years ago when he last fell away. The six month fog had costed him another band, another album deal, sixteen tour stops cancelled, lost sponsorships, and, most importantly, his relationship with his estranged son. He had worked so hard to pull it back together before the crash. Now he couldn’t get a reply no matter how many times he emailed his son.

This is not for them.” he told himself trying to steady the quaking ribs and stomach.

“This is not for me.” There was a five second delay before the next tremor shook through his midsection.

This performance is not about you or your music or your fame or your legacy.”

The familiar reminders washed over him like a beach that was hit by a storm returning to its normal patterns after the storm passes over. Calming. Centering.

“You are here for a higher purpose. Your music doesn’t serve you. Your music serves someone far greater than you and a purpose much higher than yours.”

After years and years of excesses and arrogance he needed to remind himself daily of these truths. He had learned the hard way that serving himself was the most empty way to live. It had almost destroyed him. He was extremely fortunate to still have a chance to play before this crowd after all that he had done to himself. Many musicians never get this chance twice, let alone five times.

When they see and hear you play they will be taken to the same place you’ve been. You are not the end but simply a messenger to point the way.”

Even if it wasn’t all true he chose to believe it. And it worked every single time. He had been able to channel the emotion and nervous energy after the fall to a greater purpose. He had discovered the teachings of Jesus Christ. The humility and service that Jesus lived was the most powerful example Bangor had ever encountered. He was absolutely convinced that living for himself was the quickest way to self destruct again. But living for Jesus had given his talents a greater purpose. He couldn’t wait to write the check for this show out to the various charities he had come to know and love over the past 18 months.

As peace flooded his quaking body, he took a deep breath, bowed his head low and pushed through the curtains with one finger held high.

The crowd erupted.

He never heard them cheering for him. He only heard their shouts and applause as directed toward the One who had restored him. With every note he deflected their gaze to his new Master. He felt hidden in the light and it was the most peace he’d ever felt.