Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pay or Passion

Descent From the Cross
Ed Knippers

"If I proclaim the Message, it's not to get something out of it for myself.
I'm compelled to do it, and doomed if I don't."
I Corinthians 9:16
The Message

"There is nothing to live for but God,
and I am still full of the orchestras that drown His voice."
Thomas Merton

compel \kəm-ˈpel\ 1. to force or drive, esp. to a course of action
L.compelle (re)-com (with)+pellere (to push, drive)

Yesterday, while walking, I passed a young boy. He was on all fours, writing something on his driveway with colored chalk. I stopped to read, in very large letters, "I looked at awsome things on my mycroscope!" I wonder, what compelled him to share that message with the neighborhood? And, once again, I asked myself, "Why do I do what I do?" What compels me? Is there anything I do from pure motives? Compulsion, by definition, is forceful- a drive. So, what drives me? There was a time I told my students that all actions were driven (compelled) by one of two forces, or, a combination of both:


I understand now there are other forces at work. Several years ago, Terri and I heard Ed Knippers speak at Cornerstone on spiritual lessons learned in the studio. He said, "Where would I find my identity? In art with perhaps a Christian veneer that would most likely fade over time, or in Christ with the real possibility that there would be no art. Early on I had to give up art. As someone had said, 'Art makes a lousy god.' So does anything else but God. It was only when our Lord gave back my art as a call, a vocation, that I could truly be free to give it all my energy and strength for His glory- it was only then that I could truly become an artist."

#3, Torn and Crumpled
Michael Carter

And so, I think about that little boy and his chalk letters. Someone has said, 'art is the communication of a discovery.' That sounds right. Joy that cannot be contained but spills onto the concrete of the world with colored chalk makes me glad I went for a walk.

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