Friday, April 04, 2008

the realm of possibility

This is more the log of a spiritual journey than anything else, and so I relate the daily goings-on to my internal growth and what God is teaching me. Hopefully we're learning every day, becoming more and more the people we're created to be, and finding the joy of that becoming.

Last weekend my daughter, Rebecca, had her "coming out" art show. She's participated in shows before, but this was a small group show in a public gallery, which she planned as a part of her high school senior project. The only thing I really helped her with was framing, which would have been prohibitively expensive had she gone to a framer. It took months of planning and preparation. Beck was clearly in charge and the driving force. Her other friends did good work, but seemed merely along for the ride. I could not help but be proud. She's grown up with art all around her, but this is the kid who used to yell at me for having nudes drying on our screened in porch. I would simply turn them around so her friends couldn't see them.

The world is a funny place and judges human beings and their worth in strange ways. I didn't go into art as a career until I was an adult because my brain is so conditioned by culture to only see the value in things that are "practical" and reap a physical reward. Now I know we have to eat, but a huge hurdle in my choice was understanding that I was created to create. I don't know at this point if I would encourage my daughter to make the arts a career even now. It's a tough road to hoe and I have had to rely on the inner knowledge that my path is what it is beyond any circumstantial evidence to the contrary.

I'm reading Eugene Peterson's book about the life of the Israeli king David. I don't think there is a person alive who does not know the story of David and Goliath, even if they have never opened a Bible. The interesting thing about that story is this-the skinny red-headed Opie tramping around in the Valley of Elah that day was not supposed to do what he did. He was supposed to be delivering cheese to his big brothers the soldiers and go back to the sheep. No one wanted him. When Samuel went to his father Jesse's house to anoint a new king, he went through seven brothers and then asked the man, "Are there any other boys?" The father didn't find his youngest son worthy of mention. His brothers got angry with him at the cheese delivery. Goliath laughed in his face when David challenged him. But the only person on that fateful day who was fulfilling his destiny was a young boy wearing no armor at all, picking 5 smooth stones out of a creek. When everyone told him he couldn't, David knew he could because he was born to be a king.


Blogger wood_song said...

I love the story of David and Goliath because it seems to hold the keys to the mysteries of faith.

Some think David had faith in his own throwing abilities, that he looked at Goliath and was not afraid because he knew that size does not matter with a well-placed stone.

Some think David had faith in his God, that his stone would find it's mark because God would guide it with unerring accuracy.

I often wonder if David's faith rested solely on the knowledge that it was the right action, and that this is the key to God's intervention on our behalf.

People say that God helps those who help themselves. Many Christians feel this is a secular mechanism to excuse us from relying on something other than ourselves.

But is there a kernel of truth hidden here that speaks to David's faith and the reason for his success in defeating Goliath? That David had absolute faith that stepping up to the fight was what he needed to do, with no thought for the outcome?

1:56 PM  
Blogger joannie said...

I do agree with that. It was completely natural for David to do what he did. He used his sling and stones for any other confrontation as a shepherd. He said himself, "The lion and the bear are no different from this uncircumcised Philistine". He had confidence in his relationship with God and because of that had confidence in the rightness of the action and the ability to carry it out, I think. But I'll admit my own failure here at times if the resulting action of faith isn't the felling of a giant!

3:51 AM  
Blogger wood_song said...

So it is the action that becomes important, not the resulting success?

So those without faith won't take action if they aren't assured the result is to their benefit.

And those who fear the result struggle with the faith to take action.

And Davids don't question the result because they are filled with the conviction that they need to take the necessary action.

This will keeping me thinking for awhile :-)

1:59 PM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

... and some of us take action without giving a thought about the outcome, because it is just the right. thing. to. do.

Responding, for the greater good.

People think too much.

11:39 PM  
Blogger joannie said...

Thanks, Pixie...I think I'm starting to get a headache!! Chuckle!! Well, this is imminent for me because I took a huge leap of faith last week-I'm advertising my portraiture on the radio, and if it doesn't become a viable income, I have a decision to make. I'll always draw, but I've put so much effort into my work, I'm really not sure why I haven't gotten a greater return.

5:04 AM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

I am praying (in my way) that it will bring a viable income!!!

'll always draw, but I've put so much effort into my work, I'm really not sure why I haven't gotten a greater return.

I assume you mean (by greater return), financially. I know joy doesn't feed a hungry belly... it doesn't keep the lights and water on and you can't get it at the gas pump, LOL! However (and that's a really BIG however), if you are doing what you love and doing it with spirit, it creates joy... that joy can overflow into many areas of your life and the recipient's life (believe me - I can't have a bad moment seeing what you created for me).

So... keeping your compass pointed north... continue doing what you are doing for the reason you are doing it.

I have faith that you will draw and be able to have what you need in doing so; gifts like yours are to be shared - and the way you share, with so much heart and sincerity... you WILL see the RETURN. God's clock is set at a different time zone... this is a lesson in progress (for me, personally - *smiling*).

God knows what we really need. What we really want, to be happy and enlightened and cared for. That's God's job. Sometimes, we need to just be happy and enlightened and cared for... so God can do his job.

FAITH is abundantly more powerful than control.

Okay... "flappy" out. *wink*

I'll leave you with this:

Ecclesiastes 3:9.

And this:


7:51 PM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

PS: Didn't I tell you people think to much?


7:52 PM  
Blogger joannie said...

Thanks so much, Pixie-the tension has always been "but what if it doesn't bring a paycheck?" I would have gone through everything I did anyway, and the reading I had the morning I was really considering all of this was in the Psalms, which was "wait". I know the talent is indisputable, and the blessing it brings something I wouldn't trade for the world. Thinking's ok! <3

12:25 PM  

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