ˈnämən(ə)l/ Definition: (of a role or status) existing in name only.
Do I call myself a musician? Well, I can carry a tune. I can play guitar in the strictest sense, as long as they are chords in the keys of G, A, D, C, and sometimes E. If it’s some crazy bizarre key, I’ll just whip out my pink capo. I spent a few years trying my hand at writing songs and even played around with recording.
But I’m a musician by name only. I can’t read music. I haven’t played my guitar for “fun” in months. Some musicians can play for hours on end because music somehow it overrides their concept of time. However, for me, a three hour band rehearsals is a nightmare that I never want to relive again.
Bar chords make my fingers hurt. I haven’t written a good song since 2012. Clearly, even as a music lover and guitar player, I’ve just never fit the mold of a die-hard musician.
Maybe you can relate to this concept of something becoming very important to you. Could be music, art, writing, cooking, advocating for a social justice issue, or parenting. You can almost call it a passion or even a purpose for your life. At first, you can’t wait to meet others who share the same passion as you.
You jump at every opportunity to find your place in a community with people who are supposed to be living for the same thing you are. Yet for some reason, deep down you can’t shake the feeling that you just don’t quite belong.
Maybe, like me, you just don’t fit the mold. And that’s okay.
It took me a few years to understand that I did not need to find my identity through being a musician. In fact, music, as my passion, has become a means through which I have discovered my real identity: I am a worshiper of God.
My identity is found in who God says I am and who He created me to be. I am His child. I am valuable because He created me. I am created to know Him, love Him, and love others, so that they may know Him and love Him too. I am created to bring Him glory.
I am created to worship God.
In fact, you are too.
That’s the beauty of being a nominal musician. I don't have to fit in! I just have to be my kind of musician to the best of my ability. Loving, creating, and listening to music has been a primary means for me to worship God. I am truly passionate about worshiping Him, and music is one avenue that allows me to do exactly that. But music isn’t the only avenue to worshiping our Creator. It can be many things.
Your passion is a means to worshiping God.
Do you have nominal cooking skills? Cook to bring glory to God. Do you love your kids but they are driving you crazy? Parent with the goal of bringing glory to God. Are you passionate about ending sex trafficking? Work in social justice to bring glory to God. Do you love playing that D chord but you shiver at the thought of a B#? Slap on the capo and play that D chord with your whole heart giving glory to God!
It’s okay to be nominal in one thing as a means to excel at what truly matters.
It’s what you were created for.
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” - Colossians 3:17