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Sing Like You Mean It

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I saw a movie one time that was the life story of the great American singer, Johnny Cash. Almost everyone knows who Johnny Cash is because he is so famous. Johnny Cash (1932-2003) is considered to be one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century.

This movie about his life told the story of the event that occurred that changed him from being just another mediocre gospel singer, one of thousands, into the legend that he became.

He was a musician, he had talent. He was singing gospel songs. Songs about faith, songs about Jesus. But he was broke, and had a wife to support, and was getting no where. So, he decided to put more effort into trying to sell his songs, and get them made into records.

He went to a record producer, trying to interest him in making a record. He was very persistent, and practically refused to accept the man saying no to hearing him sing. He convinced his way into the man's recording studio through sheer determination. The man agreed to at least hear him and what he was singing.

He brought his band, the big day, they finally had an audition. This would be the big break they all needed so badly.

Well, of course Johnny had thought they were fantastic, they had played in clubs, people liked them. Johnny was charismatic and people enjoyed listening to him. So, he felt sure it was just a question of getting the right person to hear him.

So, they launched into their first number, a traditional gospel song. The man's face fell. He stared at Johnny, bored to death. He tried to continue singing, but the man cut him short.

Johnny was dumbfounded. What was wrong?

"Is that all you've got?" said the man. "This religious dribble plays all over the radio all the time, I can't sell this" said the man. "Why don't you sing your own stuff?"

"Well, sir" said Johnny, "you see, I believe in Jesus, and I want to sing his message."

The man just continued to stare at him.

Finally he said to Johnny "you say you believe in Jesus, that this music is for him, that you want to sing and make the world know of his mercy. Well, let me tell you that nothing you are singing would convince one single person. It's like dishwater. Boring. No life, no soul. You don't even sound like you mean it yourself."

Then he said the most powerful thing of all.

"Johnny, if this was your last day on Earth, if this was the last song you were ever going to sing, if you knew, that the moment you walked out that door, you would be hit by a truck and killed, and this was your last chance to tell everyone what your Jesus means to you, how would you sing?"

Well, that did it. Johnny got the message. He refocused. He thought about what that man had said, and what Jesus did mean to him. He thought about how it might be his last song.

Then, he began again, this time, he sang a song with depth, with soul, with feeling, with meaning.
(he got the record contract and the rest is of course history)

That incident really impressed me.

How much different would our efforts for Krishna be, if we put our whole heart and soul into them?

How much would we say and do for Krishna, if we wanted to tell the whole world how wonderful He is, and how much He has affected our lives?

What would we say, what would we do? How would we say it? How would we do it?

What if we knew, today, that this was the last day of our lives, and that whatever service we did for Krishna was the last thing we would ever do in this lifetime to express our devotion, our gratitude, our faith?

What if this was the last chance we would ever have to show others what it means to devote yourself to Krishna?

* Navasi's blog
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Comments
Wed, 07/02/2008 - 04:15 — kannan
kannan's picture
wonderful, superb,

wonderful, superb, excellent... couldnt think of more synonyms. just today i was trying to preach (?teach) my land lord KC, and felt i could have done better.this blog came right in time. Thank You very much Mataji. Hare Krishna!

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Wed, 07/02/2008 - 20:23 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Doing Things Better

Dear Koolkannan,

Thank you very much for your nice comment. I'm so glad I could help you. I hope you are able to talk to your landlord in a way that reaches him.

I think it's a really good thing to always feel like we could have done better. It keeps us striving harder and harder to please Krishna and to put all we have into whatever service he gives us.

If you feel that you want to do better with your preaching efforts, then Krishna rewards that desire. (maybe this time by inspiring you through this blog) I am always amazed at the many ways Krishna has of accomplishing things.

: )

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Thu, 07/03/2008 - 18:45 — kannan
kannan's picture
Hare Krishna! Thanks for

Hare Krishna! Thanks for that reply Mataji. Your words are always nectarian.

Your servant,
Kannan.

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Tue, 07/01/2008 - 23:53 — Snehal
Snehal's picture
Last oppurtunity

Hare Krishna!
Mataji, you have described one of the best way to always keep up our sincerity and enthusiasm in our devotion. It was told to me by my devotee cousin brother too. And I try to keep this attitude of last opputunity while doing any kind of service and specially while chanting. It helps.

Snehal.

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Wed, 07/02/2008 - 20:32 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Giving Everything

Hare Krishna!

Dear Snehal,

That's inspiring to hear that you have been doing this, and that your cousin told you this also. :)

The thing about this concept is, that if you can really feel this way, then you do things you might not have done before, you put more of yourself into the things you are doing.

I'm sure we've all heard stories of people who had a brush with death, and afterward, they said "oh, I'm going to live my life so differently now"... and suddenly they were just turning their world upside down, doing all these things they were afraid to do, or thought they couldn't do, etc...

We put so many limitations on ourselves all the time because of our minds, our conditioning, our belief systems. We need to just let go of all those limitations, trust Krishna, and put our whole heart and soul into what we do.

Krishna is looking at the devotion. That's what Krishna wants, the devotion. So, it's very good to find ways to put all your heart and soul into your service. That's pleasing to Krishna.

Give Krishna Everything.

: )

Hare Krishna,
Navasi