Sunday, December 6, 2009

Putting It All Together – Part 3 Google searches and Noah

Okay, have you figured out what you do?


Then maybe you need to consider a second question. What do you want to do?
Remember the caveats from the first entry, and then let yourself dream. If you could do anything at all what would it be? What have you kept yourself from doing because you were worried it was too big, too costly, or too outrageous?

My head shrinker once asked me, “If you woke up tomorrow and God and performed a miracle in your sleep how would you know what he had done?” (Yes, I have a shrink, insanity at this level requires some coaching.) Knowing what the dream looks like is vital, or life becomes like a Google search – so many great and not so great options, so little time. Envision yourself there, figure out what it looks like, how
it feels and smells.

Once you know your dream, and you have recognized your gifts, you need to figure out how to make it happen. I like to work backwards. When we started with the idea of Pagus, we asked ourselves what would we change about our world? For us, we would be able to embrace both our artistic sides and our Christianity. These two realms often seem worlds apart, and as Christian artists we need both.

So we began looking at ways to bring these two parts of our lives together. We realized that we faced some serious obstacles. The first most artist do not feel like they fit or need religion, spirituality yes, religion no. The second obstacle was a lack of appreciation or understanding of the arts within Christianity. So that meant we need to be able to teach.

Okay, we wanted to teach, but to who and how?

We wanted to teach to artists. We wanted to reaffirm their position in the body, but we really did not know what the Bible taught on that. We had an idea based off our personal experience, but that is really shaky ground. We had some circumstantial evidence, but we felt like we needed something more solid still. We could envision some really great events – which we are still planning to do – to bring the church and the artist together, but it soon became apparent teaching the artists was not enough. We had to reinform the church about the forgotten artist.

Now things really got hairy, because it is all well and good to have a dream, but can you hang onto it when everyone says you are crazy? When no thinks it will work? Or accuses you of being too idealistic? Or do you simply say, “Well, God closed the door on that dream.”?

Let me tell you a story. There was once this guy named Noah, and he decided to build a boat. His neighbors ridiculed him, his kids complained about having to work on this thing with their weird dad, and I am sure his wife reminded him daily that he had lost it, but he went out every day for probably years and cut down another tree. And he saved a bunch of animals and all that were left of the human race. The end.

Doing the things that make your dream possible is easy, doing the dream is often difficult. We realized that if the church was ever going to hear what we had to say we needed to bring more to the table than “Hey, I have this great idea.” So we made a plan. I went to school and Nathan went to Norman, Oklahoma. For years we each worked at gathering the information and experience we needed to make our message credible. I got a degree in psychology and another in Biblical Literature (just a fancy way to say I read Hebrew and Greek). Nathan became a worship leader at a church plant and later moved to the Dallas area to work in another body.

Learning is easy for me. I was trained to absorb ideas by my parents. I love to read. I can write a killer paper, but three years of days that began at 5:30 a.m. and ended at midnight or later got old really fast, as did three hour round trip commute to school. It wasn’t easy.

Playing music is easy for Nathan, but things were no picnic for him when he left to go where God called him to prepare for Pagus. I won’t presume to tell his story, but there were times we both wondered why we were doing this. There were times the dream was obscured by circumstance, but once we had caught a glimpse of what was possible we knew we could not refuse to take the chance.

Ask yourself, what are you willing to lose for the sake of a dream? Sleep? Meals? Some self respect? The respect of others? Can you live with yourself if you didn’t try? That’s the dream to chase with everything you have in you, and when you run out of yourself and it still won’t leave you alone, you are probably on the right path.

No comments: