Viewpoint from Rick Wakeman 08/05/09
`I’ve been in and out of "Yes" more than Barbara Cartland has put pen to paper!" says Rick Wakeman, known to millions for his amazing keyboard skills and brilliant compositions.
Rick, who lives near Diss in Norfolk, has enjoyed a career spanning several decades, from his earliest days as a concert pianist through to his phenomenally successful solo albums such as "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and "The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth". Other classic albums with `Yes` include Fragile, Close to the Edge, and on his own The New Gospels which musically traced the life of Jesus, and the Myths and Legends of King Arthur.
Rick is well known for his love of golf and his outrageous sense of humour, yet his life has not been laughter all the way. Three marriages, a heart attack at twenty-five and a long struggle with stardom have all taken their toll, but it was his discovery of God which was to change his life.
"Despite being baptised at 19, I pushed God further and further away, as my love of music became more and more important" explains Rick. It wasn’t until he met model Nina Carter that the hunt to find a church that would marry them, started to draw them closer to a God they had both abandoned many years before. Overjoyed at being accepted by a church that received them in true Christian love "I was given a renewed faith in the Church that had been lacking for more than fifteen years" recalls Rick.
The journey back to God had begun. One night whilst on tour in Sydney, Australia, struggling with an alcoholic problem Rick sat on his bed and cried. "I had never felt so low in my entire life" he recalls, "and I realised I had never really been in control of my life, although I thought I was." Explaining how a strange calmness came over the room he knew there was only one thing left to do. "The decision was to put my life back into God’s hands. I asked Him then and there to forgive me for all that I had done and to give me the strength to start again." Rick knew he was back in safe hands. As if confirming this, Rick received a BAFTA Award in 1997 for his services to the industry.
Nina became a Christian soon after and together they attend church regularly seeing their faith grow from strength to strength.
Following on from an extensive tour in the USA, Rick was encouraged to tour his unique Gospel Show "The Piano Tour" across the UK. Its great success has meant that many more tours have been planned, as Rick enjoys nothing better than to use his wonderful sense of humour and those incredible keyboard skills to illustrate how much God is now in charge of his life.
Rick’s favourite Bible verse:
"My favourite Bible verses are not ones that are read very often either in private or in church, except perhaps by me!
I know, Lord, that you are all-powerful; that you can do everything you want. You ask how I dare question your wisdom when I am so very ignorant. I talked about things I did not understand, about marvels too great for me to know.
You told me to listen while you spoke and to try to answer your questions. In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen with my own eyes. So I am ashamed of all I have said and repent in dust and ashes.
After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Alphas, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you did not speak the truth about me as my servant Job did.
Now take seven bulls and seven rams to Job and offer them as a sacrifice for yourselves. Job will pray for you, and I will answer his prayer and not disgrace you as you deserve. You did not speak the truth about me as he did."
Job chapter 42 verses 1-8
I often think that it is ironic that the book of Job (one of the least read books in the Bible) immediately preceded Psalms, which is probably the most read book of the Bible!
To me, the story of Job is the most relevant book of the Old Testament as regards our lives today. It is so difficult to know whether or not we are to be tested from above or attacked from below, or indeed whether both forces are at work.
The first eight verses of chapter 42 explain everything in as much as God knows all the answers and understands everything. We will NEVER know the answers to the unanswerable, so why waste time looking? All we need to do is put our trust in the Lord and He will guide us through.
To me Job sums it all up perfectly in these verses and it is Job who has become my soul-mate of the Bible. I know I can never have the strength of faith he showed, but it is something I aspire to, as can everybody.
In simple terms, I don’t know how to fly a plane and don’t particularly want to. However, I have every faith in the pilot and put my trust in him to get me safely to my destination. I also don’t have even a millionth of God’s understanding and knowledge of this world He created, or what His destiny is for us all. However, I have every faith in Him as my pilot, and put my trust in Him to get me to my destination along the route he has chosen for me.
Whenever you’re unsure whether or not you’re being attacked or tested, spend a couple of hours with Job, he’ll sort you out!
Help us to understand the limitations of our understanding. Help us to accept that in this world there are many questions which will remain unanswered. Give us peace of mind to know that you are in total control ant that you alone know the purpose of everything that happens to us, both as individuals and also as part of an ever changing and confusing world.
Teach me not to query that which You and You alone have control over. Help us to accept that you have a reason for everything that happens to us and others however unacceptable it may appear at the time.
We need to give You our trust completely Lord which is not always easy to do. It is hard sometimes for us to differentiate between attacks from the Devil and tests that you send from above.
With Your strength, Your guidance and the knowledge of your supreme understanding, we can perhaps begin to fulfil the purpose for which You placed us on this earth. Without You, we would never understand. Amen
used by kind permission of Christians in Entertainment www.cieweb.org.uk