Several years ago Ray and I went to see Riders in the Sky at a most unusual location — in a cave (Riders in the Sky is the cowboy band that did “Woody’s Roundup” for Toy Story 2). Most of the concert was just fabulous. I was disappointed by some of their humor, but the music was super-stupendously, fantabulously-wonderful. So wonderful that I go to the Riders in the Sky website from time to time to see if they are going to be in our area again. Experiencing the concert inside Cumberland Caverns made it all the more exciting.
I love to find out how things work, so I was fascinated by a promotional email I got this week from Bluegrass Underground, which is the name of the music venue inside the cave. It told how the strange idea of bluegrass concerts in a cave in Tennessee began.
During Memorial Day weekend in 2008, a musical explorer (that’s a career I had never heard of before) visited the cave while on a family vacation. He asked someone if they had ever had music there. The answer was no. By August 16 of that year, the cave’s Volcano Room was ready for their first major concert. People made plans, sold tickets, and set up rows of chairs. They hauled in a sound system by mule team.
According to the email, organizers did a dry run a few weeks before the first concert. Needing answers to important questions, they brought in a string band so they could:
- Test acoustics.
- Find out how to mike a band 333 feet underground.
- Find out if slapping an upright bass caused rock slides.
- Find out if banjos attracted bats.
Bluegrass Underground began as a live concert and radio show. Now it is a nine-time Emmy-winning TV series which airs on PBS.
I have zero experience with Bluegrass Underground except my one Riders in the Sky concert there. I can’t recommend that your family watch the TV show or go to a Bluegrass Underground concert (they may be fine; I just don’t know personally). So, why am I telling you all this? Because stories like this remind me of important truths:
- People are made in the image of God. Therefore they can do amazingly creative things.
- God wants people to work. From the beginning He gave Adam stuff to do.
- If things are going to happen, somebody has to think of the idea, make plans, and work hard until those plans have their intended result.
It is important to teach our children that they are creative (they’re made in God’s image, too), that they need to work (because God wants them to), and that hard work is behind things they experience in their lives every day.
Realizing these truths helps us to honor and respect other people. A recurring desire of my heart as I was doing my part of Uncle Sam and You a few years ago was to help children know what people do and to respect people who do all kinds of work.
When a child sees a stop sign, I want them to know that somebody made in God’s image put that sign there.
When a child visits an art museum, I want them to know that somebody had the idea of starting it and that many people sacrificed to raise money, build it, buy the paintings, and run it every day.
When a child sees a sign for a soup kitchen, I want them to know that Jesus wants us to feed the hungry and that volunteers are doing that at the soup kitchen.
I also want a child to know that Daddy’s work is important, Mama’s work is important, and their work is important.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord
you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.