Life is multifaceted, the human soul most complicated.  In the modern world, self-promotion would have us make ourselves out to be something lofty, other worldly, heady,  a who's who amongst one's peers proving oneself worthy of distinction and accolade.  In the process we risk losing a sense of what it means to be human.  We suffer loss of balance.  To be sure, life is a many chaptered book and perhaps it takes getting enough of oneself to see one's mortality, or perhaps witnessing the sum total of what another's life added up to in the bigger picture, realizing after all we are not the big deal we would like to make ourselves out to be.

I am fully aware of my uniqueness and breadth of experiences, having been a youth pastor several times throughout twenty years of youth ministry; a key administrator for the Salvation Army; having served in the US Navy during the end of the Vietnam era; frontman of a Christian Contemporary band in that big hair 80's era and still performing coffeehouse style folk and blues; winner of my share of state and regional art awards; an arts missionary; a fulltime professional artist settling now into a chapter of teacher art in the public schools.  I've met prominent individuals and dined with figureheads of state, shared in the peer recognition of some of this nation's most prominent wildlife artists...but in the end other than wowing the few easily impressionable what does it all really matter?  As I like to say often, all this and .50cents might get me a cup of coffee!

I am at that stage in life where I am comfortable living in my own skin.  I see life as an opportunity to have one's activities honor our Creator, and our giftings turn around as vehicles to celebrate life to the fullest.  If I am burdened, it is that so many are living in a vacuous state restless to find themselves which they feel will come from success; a success measured by sales of one's work or from the respect of peers, yet it is apparent they are not living in the now.  They work hard determined one day to reap the benefits, living with an idea of what they hope the future promises thereby missing the privilege and joy that comes in the now having eyes that see, and a heart that sings.  Sadly, disillusionment awaits many.

It is with all of this I recognize my reward is found in my work, thus comes my intention to work hard, to play hard...but with it all laugh, and begin by laughing at myself.  Each day precious.  I hope by my creative efforts to pass along a sense of this joy and thankfulness for living one more day, working one more day and that in my work people find cause to do the same.  Reflect a bit more.  Appreciate more.  Smile more.  Be filled with the goodness that surrounds us and be infectious with it.  May my life with all its shortcomings bring honor and glory to the One above, and may I live to yet worship with one more creative effort.

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