The Story Behind The Artist

So everyone kind of asks when they hear about my soon-to-be-born book, The Artist. And, in some stumbling, run-on sentences, I answer. But what really inspires a book? Why would anyone give years of their life to a project that no one may ever see?

I’ve written this like 10 times, because in the process of making The Artist, so many stories have come to be connected with it. But I only have to read the dedication to remember why I really first wrote it.

“To Matthew, who was made for a purpose. You’re very different from everyone. Your God made you that way for a reason. Remember your highest calling.”

Matthew was, and is, one of my best friends. At that point, I didn’t know if he would ever be anything more. I was trying to figure out if someone could be a dedicated Christian and have a career in something besides ministry. Matthew was a genius in tech and math and programming. Literally. MIT accepted him on the basis of an algorithm he invented. He had a freelance career in programming and web before he graduated high school.

Why did God make him that way? Shouldn’t he be, like, a brilliant speaker if he was supposed to be a dedicated Christian? But he wasn’t. Should he abandon his talents and pursue more “holy” tasks?

This question went along with my own. If I love God, shouldn’t I be a traditional missionary or nun or something? But I LOVE design and art and writing, and generally, if you love something, you can get pretty good at it. (I’m not saying I am, but I have the potential, ha ha).

So that added up in one bigger question.

Why does God make people with different passions and talents? Shouldn’t we all be traditional evangelists or preachers?

Does God not control how we’re made? Or does He give these things to us to tempt us away from our “true calling?”

Then, one day I remembered the analogies God makes about His people. He compares us to a body, with different parts and different functions. He also compares us to clay pots. He’s the Potter, he creates each of the pots for different uses. But that doesn’t mean one is better than the other, or that one loves the Potter more than the other. Their love is measured by their willingness to let the Potter form them as He wishes.

A lot of this has to do with a trunkful of trust. In order to let God make you into who He wants, you have to love Him, let Him work on you (even when it hurts), and give Him your fears and desires. This is HARD. But it also brings peace.

So, in conclusion. God makes people for certain purposes. The overarching reason is to be in relationship with God. I can’t begin to express the importance of this. In your relationship with God, important things become important, and trivial things become trivial. It’s a struggle sometimes, don’t get me wrong. We’re still sitting on a muddy messy earth. But you have somewhere to turn, you have a goal besides yourself, besides this earth. You treat others the way they should be treated.

But when you are in relationship with God, you still have a specific part to play. For some, that may be preaching, or loving and teaching children, or being the brain behind revolutionary new ways to spread the Gospel, or making the building a clean place to be. Or making it possible for evangelists to evangelize. Or worshiping God and helping lead others to do the same. There are SO many different jobs for people who love God.

And this whole concept is what I’m trying to show in The Artist. In simple story form, I hope I can pass this idea on to someone who was struggling like I was. I hope it encourages them to trust and turn to God. If it does it for even one person, it was all worth it.

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