"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Monday, December 19, 2005

Don't think, just paint.

I was looking through an art catalog today, and getting excited at all the art materials when two thoughts came to mind. One, do other guys ever get excited looking at graphite pencils, and two, why in the world did I decide to become a student at a small, unknown school in dag cold Manitoba. My dad gave me the wise advice of going to a school in Minneapolis where I could pursue both art and Youth ministry, and though now he is quite confident I made the right decision in coming to Prov, sometimes I can't help but wonder what it would be like to be at another school. I really miss art. I wonder when I'll get to dig my hands into clay again, molding mud into something beautiful. Sometimes I fear the art will leave my fingers, that my talents will fade like an old drawing. When creating, I feel like I can understand God just a little bit more.

How long will God keep me at this school? What road will I walk down next? I long to create, to discover. Yet, if I pursued every opportunity I wanted to, I would be in post secondary education for about 10-15 more years. Opportunities are endless, showcasing Gods Hugeness. The question remains, which opportunity will God give me next, and, will I willingly take it?

18As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 20At once they left their nets and followed him.--Matthew 4:18-20

Sometimes, I wonder, do we think to much as Christians? I think, that perhaps, we try to scrutinize our callings, analyze them, know the "why" when God hasn't given us the "why". We pray to hear God's voice when he's already spoken. We want shouting when God simply wants to whisper. Do we have to be 100% sure of where we are going? Dare I say it, do we even have to be 100% sure of the calling? Its hard to be 100% sure when God simply doesn't always make sense. When does prayer for clarity switch to trust in the fog? Where does faith come in? In a way, its a lot like art. If an artist thinks to much as they do their work, if they don't take risk, if they erase and redo, the piece can loose its spontaneity, its spirit. God wants our lives to be beautiful art, and the best comes when we step out in faith, allowing the Master Artist to shine His creativity.

not a day goes by where I don't wonder if I've made the biggest mistake in my life taking the job of a part time youth director. But even if it is the biggest mistake of my life (next to forgetting to put oil in my engine), could God make it into a beautiful mistake?

So, right now, I sit. Prov is where I belong. My family is here. It blows me away that only after a year and a half with these people (or less), they have become my greatest blessing. And the church is where I'm at. Though I'm not so quick to say it's where I belong, its where God is teaching me and using me, so, I'll trust that it's where He wants me.

Yet many opportunities still lie out there, which ones will God call me down? Simon Peter and Andrew seem a little crazy. They immediately left their nets, got out of the boat, and followed Christ. Will I so willingly, and eagerly jump out of my boat, cast away the nets that entangle me, and follow my Savior? Or will I think to much?

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