On the Jazz

The 1983–1987 television series The A-Team featured four former special forces guys who aided people in trouble. The leader of the group, Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, was frequently referred to by the other team members as being “on the jazz”. This phrase was understood to mean being so focused on the current task that everything else was secondary.

I find this is often the case when I’m out with my camera. Time? Doesn’t matter. Hungry? Not aware of it. Wet or cold? Not a factor. So when I return from a photography outing, my wife will often ask me if I was “on the jazz”. To which I almost always reply, “I was.”

In his letter to the church at Colossae, the apostle Paul instructed believers, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colossians 3:23, New International Version)

Therefore, when I am out photographing, I need to be focused on doing it to the best of my ability and to honor God. The same mindset should apply to my being a husband, helping at my church, or any of the other responsibilities that are a part of my life.

Finally, there is an important aspect of this phrase that was never verbalized on the television show. And that is the satisfaction that comes from doing what you were created to do and doing it well.