Running On Inertia
I have no idea whatsoever to write this week. I write this blog to participate and fulfill God’s mission for me in the conversation of Faith & Art: To help faith-driven creatives to discover, develop, and use their gifts to God’s glory. But maybe a specific mission for the conversation is unnecessary.
Maybe all I need do is share what I discover, or how I am growing, and leave it at that.
I also have a specific, and very relevant, mission for my art practice: That my art-making results in lives changed for God’s glory. In other words that it produces invitations to the foot of the cross of Christ. And maybe this is enough.
Perhaps I’ve found any transition away from the first mission statement difficult, as if it was a betrayal or an abandonment of some important call from the Lord. Perhaps it’s taken these five years to realize that I’ve been given a new mission and that it is enough. That it’s all I need focus on.
My transition from problem-solver / helper-guide to producing artist has been, not difficult, but rather unclear. Maybe this year, 2013, is the year I get all of that cleared up and simply focus on doing the main thing really well – making art, showing art, and selling art. And as it may be wanted or needed, the help to others will happen along the way all by itself.
In other words, my former role as creative problem-solver / pied-piper is past; done. It’s not God’s mission for me anymore. Oh, I’m still deeply passionate about faith, art, and faith & art. I’m still deeply passionate about adding value to the lives of those with whom I come in contact. I’m still deeply interested in being encouraging, but that’s no longer my primary role. God has other plans for me this year, and I need to follow them.
These last two or three years I’ve bumped into, stumbled across, or just plain become aware of many subtle movements and transitions which God has drawn me toward. They hadn’t coalesced into a new life chapter until just now, as I’m writing this post. The Lord is definitely calling me out into far deeper waters of creativity and faith. Perhaps I’ve been running on inertia for five years and didn’t really realize it. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt a little lost, because a number of my life-roles have closed recently, simply because they’re finished.
In the last three years my final Homeschool student graduated. Both my father and father-in-law have passed away. We played major roles in their elder care (a gift I wouldn’t trade for anything). We moved to our present domicile. We’ve had one of our kids move out on her own and put herself through an arts college. We have two others on the threshold of making lives for themselves. In that time, I’ve been able to cement myself into a career of visual art-making. Lots of things have happened and have come to closure, and it’s only now, at the top of this year, that I have just enough distance to sense those roles finally winding down. The turbines of effort have stopped.
These changes are having a powerful effect on my art practice, which is why I’m thinking out loud here in my blog. That must also be why 2013 feels like a major course change for me, and I like it. In the last three years I’ve met more friends in the arts community than ever. I’ve found what I believe to be my medium, even though I’m still searching for my own voice in it. I’ve moved from an art table set up in the dining room to occupying the entire basement with all the amenities needed to really be productive year round; studio, workshop, washroom.
These are all gifts. They’re all blessings. They bring tears of gratitude to my eyes. Instead of feeling useless or confused, God has given me vital, vibrant, new roles in faith-driven creativity, and for that I am eternally grateful.
This must be why 2013 feels so expansive, and filled with great potential and possibilities. It’s as if I’ve stepped out into an open meadow surrounded by forest. Now I can look up and finally see the stars. This must also be why I feel so much focused purpose and joy. I’m not lost at all because, while I don’t know my next destination, God has made my course crystal clear. In childlike faith, all I have to do is follow His spiritual compass.
I don’t have to run on the inertia of former roles anymore. They’re all done. It’s time to embrace new life-roles and for God and I to see what wonders we can make of them.