I Believe, Help My Unbelief

So, we’re moving. After 4 years in Wheeling, making friends, making music, building careers, growing kids, and generally just trying to find our place in the world, it’s time to move on. I won’t go into the details here (you can talk to me in person if you need details), other than to say the wife’s job situation changed dramatically and suddenly for the worse, and we were presented with an opportunity elsewhere that we just couldn’t say no to.

One should always take proper precautions when brushing teeth

We didn’t come to the decision easily. It’s difficult to explain how difficult and messy it’s been. We spent about 6 months this year renovating our house to be the perfect long-term home for our family. A lot of work, an unthinkable amount of exhaustion, and here we are immediately preparing to put it on the market. On top of that we have family here. We have friends here. We have history here.

When we moved to Wheeling, it felt a bit like destiny. My wife grew up across the river. My own dad grew up here. I remember sitting in the Alpha once years ago, when I was just passing through on tour, and saying to the band, “It feels like I’m going to end up living here one day.” It seemed like everywhere we turned we could find connections. Everything meant something. We found my great-grandfather’s grave almost exactly 2 miles from our front door. I kept meeting people who knew my dad way back when. There’s so many weird little coincidences, they just seemed to all be signs that this was home.

It’s said humans are meaning-making machines. It’s hard-wired into our brains to look for patterns, and assign meaning to them. It’s great for your survival odds if you can quickly assess that the growl you hear coming from the woods probably belongs to a predator. This talent is also responsible for the constellations. It can be very useful, but it can also be misleading. Most of us don’t believe the constellations were “put there” with purpose. Most of us recognize that our ancestors looked to the stars for meaning and invented it for themselves.

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This has been on my mind a lot while we’ve been trudging through this major life-decision. Does any of this mean anything? Meaning-making and pattern recognition has long been rewarded through evolution, so really our decisions probably don’t matter much beyond how they directly affect us and those around us. Or maybe God really instilled this gift when we were created so that we could home in on the creator’s purpose for our lives, and every choice is a step toward or away from what’s intended for us. Or maybe it’s both. There was a time when I could answer that question with certainty, “Pray! God will tell you what you’re meant to do.” There was another time when I would have unequivocally said, “No, it doesn’t mean anything. You decide.”

Now there are days when I lean toward one or the other, and there are many more days when I firmly believe both are true. It means everything and nothing. It’s designed and completely by accident. I know that sounds insane. I have a really hard time explaining what I mean, so I did what I often do when stuff like this is bubbling up, I wrote a song. I think it gets at the sadness and emptiness that so often accompanies times of doubt and uncertainty, but there’s a sort of exhausted determination/realization that it’s all going to be ok. I’m calling “Connect The Dots.” You can watch it HERE. I hope you do, and I hope you like it.

Inside cover of Joshua’s latest release, Promise Land

p.s. We’re extremely sad to be moving, but we’re not going too far, so we’ll be back fairly frequently. That being said, it’ll be difficult to put shows together with The Noises, so our show next Saturday may be the last Joshua Lee & The Noises show (not counting the couple of songs we’ll do for the Bridge+Tunnel Christmas show). We’d love to see you there.