Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The last few hours, I've been processing some things I never knew before. It is good to keep learning and exploring, to know that I don't know it all. And I'm meditating on that as well. A person could think that she "has arrived" just because she is almost a half century old (especially if she spends a lot of time with younger people--pride and stubborness sets in). It's worse, actually, since now you know better there are no more excuses. How sobering is that?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
So, they painted a picture of the sacrifices involved. Was I willing to literally starve for my art? Was I willing to put everything aside to buy the materials for my masterpieces? And after that, I may not be recognized as great until after I died and until then, most people would reject my work. They gave it their best shot, but it didn't seem to bother me. I was naive and impractical, and I thought I cared nothing for fame, fortune or even security. So they tried another angle.
I might be talented, but the truly great artists were beyond talented. They were geniuses and took their abilities to a higher level than ever imagined before. How could I think that I would ever compare to them? Frankly, my doodlings and attempts showed that I had improved over the years but it was hard to see any originality or cutting edge vision. At this, I had to agree. I was no Michaelangelo or Raphael. But I would have liked to see how far I could go with the right training and influences. So, I might not be as brilliant as Van Gogh, but maybe I could be. I would have to try to see. I might not be an Artist, but perhaps my art could lead me to something interesting.
My parents finally came to the arguement that I was still young and I had many opportunities to develop and grow. I was good at art but, I was so much more than that. I had other interests and abilities that I had not dared to explore because art took so much of my time. I responded that I wasn't good at anything else. My father countered back that I did not know that because I never really tried anything else. At this I was speechless. I was smart enough to know that becoming an artist because it was the only thing I believed I was good at would lead me to a lot of frustration because I placed all my self worth in one thing. My goals in art were about what it did for me, not because I had a passion and a love for it.
Then my parents shared that they wanted the best for me, that they were afraid that I would miss out on a lot of life if I maintained such a one track mindset. Their highest ambition for me was an ordinary life, to enjoy a good marriage and have children and a career that I enjoyed. Although it was hard at that age to envision me having a life like that (strangely, it was easier envisioning myself as something much more radical), I trusted my parent's wishes that I would be loved and secure. And balanced. All of which set me into a totally different trajectory in life.
So, I took other classes which led me to find out that I was good at a variety of things. I graduated from high school (1980) and went on to win a scholarship to study pharmacy in college. While looking at art in the university museum as a freshman, I realized that I did not miss being an artist and was certain that art did not miss me back. There was another much worthier purpose that I could invest my passions towards, a Person who was more magnificent than all the art in the world.
That's half a century.
So what does almost 47 feel like? It feels so amazing that I am at a loss for words. I spend time with younger friends and I am aware that I am different than them but it is hard to define in what way. I always share stories about my past with them, but now I'm in awe with those stories. I am an ordinary woman, but through all the joys and sorrows that life brings, I know some things. Having experiences is one thing, but not everyone contemplates them. And those who do don't always articulate them.
In the past when I gave my narrative, it was as though I was talking about someone else. But now I actually own my history. And God has been with me every step of the way--He is good.
And He is real. He is the Creator of me and the Author of my faith as well as my story.
That's what I know.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
So far, I taught her how to make pizza and she taught me how to make tandoori chicken with her home-made curry. I want to take her somewhere and pick fresh blueberries and show her how to make blueberry muffins. I still want her to teach me more about her country's cuisine. There is a dried fish that she showed me in her refridgerator that intrigues me. I don't think we will enter into deep spiritual discussions anytime soon. But I pray that God would use our culinary exchanges for his glory.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Yet before it all disappeared, a college friend assumed that I was some kind of thinker--always in meditation. He assumed that I was thinking big important theological thoughts, but actually I was in my own little world as Queen Thea, Empress of the Far Side of Some Galaxy. When life seemed scary and out of control, there was a place mentally I could go to where it all made sense. So when my friend re-named me "Thea-logical" I could not protest against that, because it was ironically true. My inner life was definately about Thea, even though my friend's play on words meant to indicate I thought much about God, as theology is about the study of God. Instead of laughing along, I felt guilty as charged. The friend was too busy congratulating himself on his cleverness instead of seeing my discomfort with an uncomfortable truth.
Life is still scary and out of control. But instead of running to Thea land, I've learned that theology is actually my best friend. There is still a place for an active imagination, but it goes nowhere if all it contributes is an escape from reality. My pastor has a blog post that explains very well how we all are theologians. My question is if I am a very good one.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
A quote for you:
"Faith is not only necessary to salvation, it is also necessary to live a life pleasing to God. Faith enables us to claim the promises of God--but it also enables us to obey the commands of God. Faith enables us to obey when obedience is costly or seems unreasonable to the natural mind."
---Jerry Bridges, "Pursuit of Holiness" page 140