I don’t know what it is about my college campus, but my ability to perform basic functions (such as walking) decreases drastically as soon as I get out of my car. Also, can someone please remind me to never throw my debit card loosely into my bag when my car’s gas tank is registering as very very empty? I apologize to the man that was patiently waiting quite a long time for my spot while I had a panic-induced tirade through my bag.
The good thing is that I don’t have it all together, but the Lord loves and cares for me and graciously reminds me that He does have it all together.
Also, Philippians 3:13-14 is an awesome passage. Meditating on the more significant aspects of that than just embarrassing moments this morning has been refreshing and challenging in the best ways.
"Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
I was talking to one of my dearest friends about this recently. She and I do very different work and on a few occasions we have gotten to use our crafts in tandem, I love watching her work, but what I love most is that we both get to use what we do within our church.
We took some time to reflect on how vastly different types of abilities can become worship to the one Creator and how He is honored when we use whatever abilities He has given us to bless the church body. How cool is that? Honestly sit and think about that for a few moments, it’ll blow your mind. So that person who can play guitar gets to bless the church, that person with the warm smile and open manner who greets you at the door gets to bless the church, that person who loves taking care of children in the nursery gets to bless the church, and that person who is great at fixing the day-to-day things gets to bless the church. It could go on into hundreds of different facets.
The way that art is able to fit into the grand scheme of things always blows me away, and within the last year it has been so encouraging to my soul to see how God is faithful to grow our abilities and bless the work that is made to bless Him. That applies across the board, no matter the ministry, but specifically in my own life it has been the source of resounding encouragement to keep pursuing this crazy process of capturing light called photography.
The fact of the matter is that I would likely give up photography if I got to a point where I truly believed that I could no longer serve God in any way through it. That doesn’t mean that every image that I make is made for the church, just as with any job, sometimes our work ethic and attention to quality are the sole ways that we worship in our work, but if there was no direct outlet I would have a hard time justifying the rest of it. What is the purpose of creating images filled with the complexities of life and emotion and beauty if they never reflect the God who sustains and heals and creates? Visual art generally makes some kind of statement, generally that statement has more to do with the artist’s view of life than anyone else’s view. How empty is the pursuit of art if it never points to Christ? How selfish can it become if the purpose for its creation is never to direct the viewer’s eye to the Lord of all?
There are days when that much needed reality check smacks me like a pile of bricks.
There are days when I am filled with more motivation and joy than I know how to handle because an opportunity arises to make images specifically to help others worship and meditate on the God who gives me the breath in my lungs. That work is always more fulfilling than anything else that I make, it reaches to a deeper part of me because I know that it isn’t about me. I get to disappear. I get to instead show tiny glimpses of what God has made, flawed by human weakness as my images may be.
In the moments that I am discouraged and struggling I hope that I’ll cling to this truth, that no greater fullness can be found in pursuing anything other than worship of God. I will strive to be mindful of the fact that God can be worshiped in art.