Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The World of Art and Creativity


Over the last several years I've tried to find my place in the world. At first I wanted to be a photographer, and had I gone to college, that is what I would have studied. Now I know it would have been a mistake. I needed time to find myself and to try different mediums of art. However, because I am no closer to self-sufficiency than I was at eighteen, I have begun to feel very useless to the world. I know I have something special to offer, I just can't figure out exactly how to offer it, other than the books this blog is dedicated to. I see that as my greatest purpose, but surely not the only one. I am sure there must be other means of making a living, and as my prospects as a college student are non-existent, I have no choice but to find it. With all of this weighing so heavily on me, particularly as I celebrated turning twenty-five this year, I needed some encouragement. Some of the last words I wrote in my journal just yesterday and the thoughts I had while praying in the shower this morning were basically along the lines of "What am I going to do now?" and "How can I succeed?" 

When I went to make my morning cup of tea, Mom had the radio on, and there I heard a guest talking about how very artistic and crafty people have a hard time finding their niche in today's economy. She says sometimes we are good at so many things that it's hard to commit to just one, or we feel we are going to get stuck with something that will burn us out in the long run. It was very encouraging to hear someone who knew what I was going through. I don't know that there is anything I can do right now, and I want to get this first book "published", but it's good to know that there is someone out there who gets that college is not the only way to success. I am currently having a hard time even getting a really simple part-time job--just something to start, since I've never worked outside the family business. It's really daunting to try to do anything too big, and my "big" is usually "small" to most people. In my current situation, I can't go to college to improve my artistic skills. I'm outside the age of scholarships and I can't possibly get a loan with no job. I am also a bit of a rebel when it comes to the college system. I believe a lot of college is wasted trying to earn credits doing things like dancing and cake decorating that has nothing to do with one's major. If I'm going to spend my time and money, I want to spend all of it on what is relevant. Call me crazy.

Anyway, next I turned to my devotional time and to my amazement, the devotion for today is about how some things that are giant steps for one person are baby steps for another. I know I have quoted this before (likely last year at this time ;)) but it was incredible to see something so appropriate for today. 

So for now, I'm going to focus on getting this story finished and keep improving my artwork however I can. We'll see where God takes me. I don't want to not do anything, but it seems every time I try to step out and do something, I hit a million obstacles.      

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No better than rape


In today's sermon our pastor talked about what it means to know God. John 17:3 says: "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." The Bible uses the same word "know" to describe sexual intimacy between a man and a woman. "He 'knew' her." 

Marriage between a man and a woman is like the marriage of Christ and the Church. I've known this for some time, but only recently has it sunk in. It suddenly occurred to me that one of the many reasons sexual immorality is so prevalent in the world is because we have a deep longing for intimacy with God. But we aren't longing for just a little intimacy like sharing secrets or a kiss--to put it in human terms of love. We long for something deep and profound. It might be called spiritual sex. A strange thought, I know. 

I once heard someone say that God allows us to choose whether or not we want to be with Him for eternity, and that He is being a gentleman by not making us be with Him when we don't want to be. I think most would agree that anyone who would force someone to marry them and to sleep with them is no gentleman. Yet that is what so many ask of God when they suggest that everyone should be allowed into heaven, even those who violently resisted God all of their lives. If a king lived in the only beautiful place in the world and the rest was a thorny wasteland, and if the one he loved did not love him back, would it be gentlemanly for him to force her to live with him when she wanted to be free? The fact is, forcing her would be no better than rape. 

If you like, you can picture Christ as that king, who went out into the barrenness for thirty years to draw her to him. He willingly died by the hand of those who loved the darkness, and even then it didn't guarantee that she would come to him. He proposed; now he must wait for her answer--an answer that could take her entire lifetime. I don't know about you, but our story is the best love story ever written. Thank you, Jesus, lover of our souls.