By John Greco
There’s a certain musician whose work I’ve been following since I was in college. He slings an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and his voice is an instrument all its own. His name is Jason Harrod. He’s not a big star. To most, he’s an unknown, a deep dive even to find on Spotify. But his songwriting is so good that those who do know him clutch his out-of-print CDs with a grip I imagine is only comparable to that of a new mother. In fact, early on, Jason and his one-time musical partner, Brian Funck, formed a duo that was routinely compared to Simon & Garfunkel. I’ve often wondered why his work isn’t better known—why he’s not winning Grammys or pulling down gold record-sales numbers.
While I’ve long appreciated how Jason approaches his craft, in recent years something else about his music has been speaking to me. When you see Jason perform live, whether it’s in a theater, a coffee house, or someone’s living room, you can’t help but notice the joy that emanates from him. He clearly loves what he does. The life of an independent singer-songwriter is not for everyone. Being on the road for weeks at a time can’t be easy. Sharing a bit of your soul as you perform for strangers probably takes some getting used to. And I’m sure raising money for each new record and then selling them directly is no picnic either. The work is hard, but it’s clear from the light in his eyes and the smile on his face Jason Harrod genuinely loves it.
I’m no musician, but I’m learning a lot about my own craft from Jason. As a writer, it often feels like my work is only as important and meaningful as the number of eyeballs that see it. There can be pressure from my own heart and from the industry to measure my work by the number of clicks, likes, or dollars generated. We all want to make an impact with the work we do, but maybe that’s not all there is to it. Jason seems to have discovered what Solomon so handily wrote: “There is nothing better for a person than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
Finding joy in the work itself, rather than in the results, is a beautiful thing. It means we win whether our work impacts millions of people or is seen by God alone. It means we get to love what we do, no matter how many people notice. That sure does sound like a gift from heaven above and, incidentally, the sort of freedom that will go a long way to helping us produce our very best work. So whatever you do—whether you stand on stage, sit behind a desk, or walk alongside others—don’t wait to enjoy your job. If you do, you’ll be missing out.
Written by John Greco