I recently got one of the most amazing emails ever!

If you didn’t know, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I used to be in a band called Strongarm. Here is a free song, the video, and some tattoos inspired by it. The important thing to know is that I sang screamed and wrote the lyrics.

What’s amazing is that I still get emails from people even though I quit back in 1995 (I think that was the year).

For example, I met a guy at a function last weekend and spent the better part of an hour talking movies. He is a High School teacher and was trying to figure out how to incorporate some classics in his lessons (like Hitchcock’s Rear Window). Later in the week he emailed me and asked, “Have you heard of the now defunct band Strongarm?” It was totally unexpected. I told him I’d heard of it somewhere. Just kidding! I told him that I was in it etc. He said my name sounded familiar and this was his way of not appearing too nerdy while confirming if I was THAT Jason Berggren.

The emails I get express gratitude for the contribution to the ‘scene’ I made. I’ve heard:

*Strongarm is the reason we started a band.
*Strongarm is the reason I got this tattoo (with the lyrics).
*Strongarm is the reason I didn’t commit suicide.

Truth be told, I was just doing something I loved. But it is a wonderful honor to be told these things.

A couple of weeks ago I got one the best emails regarding the band, ever.

Here’s what it said:

“My husband, Jay, and I were talking the other day about how we met. We thought it would be cool to tell you that you’re the reason that happened.

We met on a chat program back in ’97. It wasn’t a dating site or anything, just a little text-based chat program on telnet. Anyway, we were able to set “sessions” on there. Sessions were just a topic someone could set and others would comment on it.

His session had something to do with Strongarm. I can’t remember exactly. It may have been lyrics. I commented, we started chatting, and now we’re married. Neat, huh? –Lori”

Strongarm is the reason we got married? I’ve never heard that one! What an endearing thing to be told. It is hilarious and amazing all at the same time. I expressed gratitude for sharing it (and permission to do likewise).

I also recommended a reading of my current book, saying that it will perhaps inspire a child (oh yes I did!).

What’s the lesson? No, it’s not that you should necessarily use heavy metal to woo a woman into dating you. There just aren’t that many female fans out there. If a love-connection is your goal, it’ll probably take a while.

Here’s the real lesson: when you use your gifts, experiences, and passions for good (and God’s purposes), it’s never in vain.

There is often a lot of crap and fighting (with the process or the people) involved in whatever you’re doing. That’s why it’s called a labor of love. And it may take a long time before there are any measurable results. In fact, you may never observe any measurable results. Is that okay with you? If you believe your efforts are never in vain, then it will be.

A mark of maturity is the ability to pursue a goal off in the distance regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

Can you?

*And by the way, I do weddings.