Saturday, May 3, 2014

Thought for The Day - Where He Leads...

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirt." John 3:8 (NIV)

I've known most of my life there was something I should be doing and that it was "God directed." Very early in life, I had a fascination with the stories from the bible and one song "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," really set my mind free to see God as an Awesome Being. I would hear Mahalia Jackson singing that song and was struck by the notion that He's got the whole world in one verse and He holds a little baby, in his hands. I had no problem imagining him holding the world, a child and "you and me brother," in his hands. It simply made sense; I saw God as much more than a bigger version of a man. I saw him as infinite God.

Perhaps my acceptance of that idea opened me to the conflicts that exist within me. Truly that sense of openness has presented me with many challenges as well. Called to ministry, certain the only way for a 'minister' to serve was in the full-time capacity, I longed for years, to be a pastor. Searched, made myself available for the opportunity - never happened. Served in ministry capacity 24 years and that 'door' has not opened yet. I don't rule it out, I simply state what is. But there was this "art" thing; this has been in my bones since I was four and watched my mother doodling flowers, cubes and a lady with long hair, on sheets of paper while she talked on the phone. I knew early on I wanted to be an artist, but it wasn't until my adult years, when the "call" seem to lead me in the direction of ministry, that the two roles seemed to contradict. From a human perspective, I couldn't reconcile the two roles.

Years ago, considering getting back into art, I shared it with a men's prayer group at a church where I served. One of the other ministers excitedly interrupted: "I love Christian art! Oh man I would love to see you working on some Christian art!!!" Somehow that wasn't the encouragement I sought. As a matter of fact, it discouraged me from starting, given the judgmental attitude of that congregation. You see, when I picture me working in a studio, a nude model, posing, comes to mind. Not the typical "Christian-themed" images most consider. That minister had in mind images of hands coming down from heaven or Jesus holding some lost soul on the verge of collapse. My idea of images are abstract, and if given the opportunity, there will be nude models painted as well.

Here I am some years later, back to painting. There are no nudes yet, but I'm not rendering "Christian art" as well. But understand, when I'm painting or drawing, the spirit of God speaks and directs my hand. Not as if I were a puppet on a string but as a coach directs his quarterback from the sidelines. "This is the play, run it this way." But it is completely in my control regarding movement, tones and colors. The lesson I've learned - forever a student of - is take direction from God and allow man's notions to fall to the side. Heed the voice of God and his direction. I won't say you experience failure or hardship, but I can say, you will know joy unspeakable as you walk on this journey.