Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Show

My first radio interview hit the air in South Dakota when I was 16.

At 17, I anchored my first TV broadcast.

By the time I was 18, I was covering live news and anchoring a morning news radio show for an ABC affiliate.

I interviewed President Bush when I was 20.

By 22, I worked for CBS.

At 23, I interviewed Martha Stewart. FoxNews Radio Network offered me a job. I turned it down.

After turning 24, I wrote, produced, and guest anchored for the nationally-syndicated radio program America at Night.

At 27, I lived in a house without an indoor shower. I haven't been near a microphone for 2 years.
Of all the questions I get... to this day... they all sound something like, "Why exactly did you leave such a promising career?" Or, my favorite, "What in the world happened to you?"

It's funny how you start out in life wanting something so badly - badly enough to work a 4 am to 12 pm shift - while in college. Badly enough to tell your highschool sweetheart that maybe he should marry someone else because you had things to see... places to go... stories to break. Badly enough that you'd work so hard - stay gone so long - that you didn't even recognize yourself in the mirror anymore. It's funny - and heartbreaking - what we'll do for dreams.

It's strange how I hit bottom when I was on top. I hated my life. I despised the cynical, paranoid, hardened person I was becoming. I remember passing over a story on a multiple-fatality accident. The family actually wanted news coverage to warn other families of the danger that had claimed their two kids' lives. Why did I pass up the story? Only two kids died. And in a Top 5 market, two traffic deaths weren't compelling. As they say, If it bleeds, it leads, and two kids bleeding didn't sound tragic enough for me at the time.

I'm distressed - even now - when I think back to those days. And while I know that most of you don't understand why I've chosen the life I have - I do. I guess I realized: it's not about what I do. It's about who I am. And it's not about pleasing you. It's about pleasing my God.

I got a phone call after the finale of American Idol tonight. A well-intentioned friend said, "Don't you watch things like that and wonder where you could be if you hadn't given up?"

No, actually. No, I don't. But thanks.

The old drive-in movie theatre in the picture above has haunted me for months. Every time I pass, it seems to mock me. It seems to remind me: Show's over. Nothing more to see here.

So today I pulled over, took its picture, and faced the wrapped-up show that's haunted me for so long.

Why? Because my show's not over. I'm just playing to a different audience now. Welcome to my messy, thrilling, blessed life.

But whatever was my profit I
now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything
a loss compared to the surpassing
greatness of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord.
Philippians 3:7-8


truelovesong said...


Anonymous said...

Brin- I'm sorry folks still give you a hard time about leaving! You were a helluva reporter though! I know you'll be succesfull at whatever you do.

Lots of love - EC

Lallee said...

Brin, I know this is an old post of yours, but I'm enjoying reading through your archives. As I read the reactions you've received from some for 'what you lost or gave up', I wondered if the Apostle Paul received the same comments from the pharisees. Did Satan mock Jesus for setting aside His royal robes and coming down in the flesh? Yeah, I think he did actually. I've shared this to say~I think you hear God's voice just fine, and you're correct that He's the one that matters when it comes to pleasing. His ways are far too high to make any sense except from an eternal view, so those looking through this earthly life goggles aren't going to get it ;-)