Spiritual Practice


John Garrison, 20

When I was in middle school and ninth grade, I was not a popular kid. Other kids picked on me. I began to have suicidal thoughts.

I decided to attend Youth 2007, a national youth event, where I met the devozine gang and talked to them about the magazine. I started reading devozine and applied to be on the Teen Advisory Board. A few months later, I was serving on the TAB and helping to write and edit devozine. Being involved gave me relief; but when my term ended, I landed back in a slump.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Psalm 43:5a (NRSV)

Listening to music kept me from going crazy. I listened to all the beats, but I never paid much attention to the words. Sure, I sang along; but when I finally sat down and listened to the lyrics, I was shocked to hear what I had been singing.

I’ve always had a love and a talent for singing. I auditioned for American Idol and America’s Got Talent, but I’ve always wanted to do an album.

So I made one: a secular album with Christian words. The catchy beat and tune get caught in your head. The words are about empowerment, help, love, support, and God. Now, performing for teens and adults going through tough times sets the stage for my soundtrack.

Since my music became my passion, I have never looked back. Music not only rescued me but helps me to offer hope and encouragement to others.


TRY IT: The next time you’re feeling down, listen to music—or create some to inspire others.

And be sure to listen to JohnGarrisonCovers!

-from devozine (September/October 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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