Why My Singing Career Never Took Off

March 20, 2008

Holy Thursday

“…What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it…” (John 13:7)

My singing career peaked and crashed when I was nine years old. 

I remember wanting to join our grade school singing competition. Being the son of a former professional singer (my mom), I was expected to win. I didn’t. I didn’t even get to join.

I started preparing under my mom’s tutelage even months before the contest. I decided to sing the classic Filipino song “May Bukas Pa”.

Day in and day out, we would practice. At first, everything went well, until we reached a portion of the song which was quite tricky especially for a nine year old. Boink! I hit one bad note after another. No matter how much I tried, I simply couldn’t hit the right note.

The days turned to weeks. And the weeks turned to months. I was stuck with that one line of the song. For some reason, everytime I get to that line, I would notice the lights blink, dogs would howl, cockroaches emerging from the cracks on the walls, and lizards dropping from the ceiling.

Until the night before the contest, my mom had to tell me the honest and sad truth: “Anak, there is an elocution contest in a few months from now. I think that’s the contest for you.”

And that was the end of my singing career (it never even took off!).

For awhile, after realizing that I wasn’t meant to be a great singer, I nursed a broken heart. It was only when I became a preacher years ago when the wisdom of it all dawned on me. 

If not for that early realization about my singing capacity, I probably wouldn’t have sharpened my public speaking skills. In a sense, I needed that heartbreaking moment to force me to shift my energy to something more in line with my purpose in life which is: Public Speaking.

Today, I am an inspirational speaker and lay preacher. I speak before all kinds and sizes of crowds. I motivate. I inspire. I instruct. I give hope. Once in a while, before a more a familiar and forgiving audience, I try to sing a song or two. But that’s about it. 

What’s my point?

In today’ Holy Thursday gospel, as Peter tries to prevent Jesus from washing his feet, Jesus tells him:

“…What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it…” (John 13:7)

There were many things the apostles did not understand during that first Holy Week. Why must Jesus wash their feet? Why did He have to be arrested? Why must He suffer? Why must He die?

Questions which are answered only by the passage quoted above. During those moments, the apostles were challenged to believe first, and understand later.

In the same way, I understood only later on why I had to end my singing “career” even before it began. It is only now that I realized that God was even then preparing me to be a lay preacher by navigating my life away from a singing “career” towards an early exposure to public speaking. At that time, I didn’t understand. It was only some years back when I did. 

Just like me, Peter and the other apostles, God is probably telling you the same thing today.

Perhaps, there are many things happening in your life now which are difficult to understand, probably even devoid of any meaning.

Why your husband had to die?

Why does it have to be terminal?

Why you failed?

Why she had to suffer?

Why did you have to lose that job?

Friend, if similar questions occupy your mind as you read this, God is telling you today the same words He told Peter,

“…What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it…” (John 13:7).

Have faith. Trust. Hope. Know that despite the seeming purposelessness of unfolding events in your life, there is a guiding and loving hand that has control of everything.

He guides. He cares. He loves. His name is Jesus. The one who loves you beyond your imagination, and holds your life perfectly safe in His hands.

Have a blessed Holy Week!

I remain, your friend in Christ,

Bobby Q.


One thought on “Why My Singing Career Never Took Off

  1. Kapatid,
    Isa kang mahusay na sundalo ng Diyos para ma inspire ang mga tao.I love your reflections at nakaka encourage at simple and yet malaki ang impact pag binasa. In fact i can also learn from you and uses some of your inputs in our prayer meetings.

    God bless!

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