I have always loved music.
I don’t remember exactly when my interest in radio began – at least as early as high school, perhaps even before that.
Regardless, I remember listening to the radio and enjoying the music.
And – occasionally – not enjoying the music.
“Aargh, they play this song every hour. I really liked it the first 10 times, but now I’m getting tired of it. Why do they have to wear out a good song?”
“This song is terrible – I can’t believe they are playing it! There are so many better songs to play!”
Granted, I’m sure that these statements could be made about most radio stations – perhaps some people even feel that way about mine. (Though I hope not – it’s a work in progress; bear with me!)
Nevertheless, I began to dream about how awesome it would be to own my own radio station and be able to choose the music that I wanted on the air.
And thus began my journey to radio broadcasting.
I remember when I was in high school that the topic came up at one point with someone I knew. He told me that he had connections with someone who worked at a local station and to let him know if I wanted to reach out to him. I think the idea was to try to get some volunteer experience in the industry and see if I liked it.
Unfortunately, at the time I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to pursue my interests, and I didn’t feel quite ready yet. Additionally, I didn’t really have a way to get to the station (it was local, but not exactly down the street).
When I was eventually closer to being ready to pursue my radio dreams, quite a bit of time had passed, and it just felt awkward to bring the topic up. (“Hey, remember when you told me a couple years ago that you had radio connections? Does the offer to introduce us still stand?” Super awkward.)
But by that time, I was close to graduating anyway, and I was considering attending a Christian college that owned a Christian radio station.
I figured that this would be an ideal solution, since I preferred to work at a Christian station anyway.
However, radio was not my only interest – I had other interests as well. In fact, I had three dreams that I wanted to pursue. Which one should I choose for my major? Was there any way that I could pursue all of them?
One of the professors I spoke with (whose specialty was one of my interests other than radio) told me that no, it wasn’t really possible to pursue all of them.
Well, that was disappointing. Now I really had to decide which dream I wanted to focus on, at least as far as pertained to getting a college degree. (Today, I’m surprised that no alternative options were given to me, such as choosing one major but selecting electives in or joining clubs on campus related to my other areas of interest.)
At any rate, I definitely wanted to be involved with the campus radio station in some way or another, so I reached out to them for information.
I ended up having a few meetings with some of the people who worked for the station, including the staion manager and – if I recall correctly – the marketing manager.
During one of our courses of conversation, I mentioned that I wanted to own multiple Christian radio stations. The station manager responded by saying that “you really only need one.”
I was baffled. Only one? What did he mean?
To this day I don’t know what he meant. I wish I had asked him, but I was completely caught off guard.
Only one? Did he mean that they – the college – already had a Christian radio station, and I needn’t think of starting another? At the time, that’s what it sounded like to me, and I was annoyed – really annoyed.
The only other explanation that I can come up with is that perhaps he thought I was under the impression that I would need multiple locations in order to reach a larger audience and was trying to tell me that wasn’t necessary; you can start one station and ultimately broadcast it worldwide through the internet.
Maybe that was all he meant, I don’t know. All I know is that it wasn’t clear, and I was completely confused (and admittedly irritated).
But I continued to pray for God’s direction. As far as I could tell, attending this particular college would be a good way to pursue my dreams in a Christian setting, even if I was noticing that we weren’t on the same page with everything. I mean, you can’t expect to agree with everyone on everything, right? And I definitely wanted to get some hands-on radio experience, regardless of whether or not I pursued a radio degree.
Then one day as I was seeking the Lord’s direction about college, He shocked me with two words:
Continued next week
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Signing off until next week –
Rocking for Jesus with you!