Sunday, 12 June 2016

What's so Great about Garth Brooks?

Along with 90 000 other people from far and wide, I experienced a Garth Brooks concert this weekend in Saskatoon. I use the word 'experienced' because anyone who attended will tell you the same thing—the concert was an experience of joy, music, heart, and pure electrifying energy. I could go on and on, and I couldn't overstate the awesomeness of being in that building. Last night after it was over and I started to come down from what I can only describe as the high I was feeling, the word that came back to me over and over again was 'generous.' Garth Brooks is truly the most generous performer I have ever seen, from the jump from one show to 6 shows in our humble prairie city, to the affordable ticket prices, to the testimonies of those that encountered him personally, and, most of all, to his performance on that stage, he just kept giving and giving. In fact he gave so much of his 54-year old self vocally, physically, spiritually and in all other ways on that stage that in my head I couldn't stop thinking, 'How can one man do this? How will he do this again in three hours? It's impossible.' Truly, what I witnessed can only be described as a generosity that defies all reason. And it was incredible.

No doubt, that was best concert experience of my life, but to say 'I have never seen anything like it' would be a lie. Because I have. I have witnessed that kind of generosity nearly everyday of my life. A 'generosity that defies all reason'??? Sure, I've seen it over and over again. I saw it in my own mother who raised 16 children with the patience of a saint. I see it in my friend who works long hours at a grueling job to support her husband and children. I see it in my son who's energy is boundless and my daughter who is the most wonderful combination of toughness and sensitivity you can imagine. I see it in my own husband who unfailingly puts the needs of four other people before his own. I see in people who are called to impossible tasks as parents or caregivers or teachers. I see it in mothers, friends, sisters, and brothers every single day, and, if you have been a loved of mine for some time, I have seen it in you.

What was clear to me last night was that Garth Brooks has a 'gift' for performance—that is to say he was able to give and give to a crowd who he absolutely electrified with his presence. You will not hear me say this often, but the sheer volume and quality with which he gave that performance can only be described as 'divine.' But what is also clear to me is that he is in good company in his 'gifts'. Of course, we do not all have the same 'gift of performance' as the great Garth Brooks, but we do certainly all possess those 'divine gifts.' The things we give which are limitless, inexplicable, and seemingly without tire. Every time you ask yourself with genuine wonder things like 'How does Mom do it?' or 'Where does Jill find the energy?' or when you think things like, 'Jane's artistic talent—I have never seen anything like it' or 'There aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish the things Tom does'...really, what you are identifying is a person's divine gifts, generosity that defies reason. It's everywhere. Incredible.

You know, I wouldn't exactly describe myself as a country music fan though I did know a decent handful of songs last night, but my take-home from that experience has been far richer than the $80 I paid for my ticket and certainly more than what I ever bargained for from a country music concert. The buzz will inevitably wear off, I know. This kind of stuff always does, but, for today I am so thankful for an amazing concert experience and the reminder of the electrifying generosity that surrounds me everyday. Awesome.

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