Today’s devotional in My Utmost For His Highest started with a question–actually, there were two significant questions.
What understanding do you have of the salvation of your soul?
What difference has my salvation and sanctification made?
I must be honest with you, over the course of the year I’ve been doodling responses to My Utmost (today’s doodle was made last year), things have changed in me. You might even say, I’ve developed what I once would have considered a ‘bad attitude’. Let me explain.
When I was young I dreamt of being an artist, of making my place in the world of art. Then I got married, had children and life took over. Twenty years into that part of my life and after my kids were no longer needing me so much, I finally picked up a paintbrush again and thought I’d try my hand at it. I entered that first painting into a couple of big competitions and it was met with reward and affirmation that I was born to be an artist. Ten years have passed, my career in fine art has slowly but surely been unfolding–a year and a half into retiring my faux finishing/mural clothing and undertook the risky pursuit of creating fine art alone, full-time, I’m at a place where my ‘young’ self (I’m still young–ha ha!), would be pretty excited about the future. My attitude? Who cares!!! Do I really want to do this? What’s the point, it’s all temporary anyway!?
This attitude has been bothering me–I should be taking work more seriously, right? Then I read this this morning.
The work of salvation means that in your real life things are dramatically changed. You no longer look at things in the same way. Your desires are new and the old things have lost their power to attract you. One of the tests for determining if the work of salvation in your life is genuine is–has God changed the things that really matter to you? . . .
What difference has my salvation and sanctification made? . . . God sees nothing to rebuke because His life is working itself into every detailed part of my being, not on the conscious level, but even deeper than my consciousness. —Oswald Chambers
This was reassuring to me–the ‘bad attitude’ is just a ‘born again’ attitude toward temporary, worldy goals–at least that’s what I’m hoping. It also explains all of 2 Corinthians 5 where Paul is discussing the desire to be with the Lord or dwelling on this earth. I love the way J. B. Phillips translates it. “We want our transitory life to be absorbed into the life that is eternal” (2 Cor. 5:4). Yet here we all are–still in this world, still needing to make a living, still needing to provide for our family and others, still experiencing joy and pain . . . How does art fit into that? Does it really make a difference? I come away with the idea that yes, it does make a difference. I want to bring joy, light and happiness to people through my art. I want to inspire people to look for the beauty all around them. There is a point–it’s just that I don’t really care like I used to. To be honest, I don’t know where this attitude will get me but I can’t shake it. In the midst of this attitude, I’ve continued to move forward, recently moving into a studio space outside of my home, I’m working daily on creating art, I’m participating in shows and competitions and even hired an assistant to help with the mundane stuff that keeps me from producing art. I have goals but I don’t have goals–none of this makes sense to me but I can’t help but keep going. I’m not used to this place of existence. Daily, I’m asking God what is going on and daily I just feel compelled to keep moving forward. Is this a state of a ‘born again’ life? I sure hope so–if not, maybe I need a therapist!
This weekend I am a part of the Clark County Open Studio Tours. I am busily preparing my studio/gallery to host a crowd (I hope) of people. I get a little anxious and wonder why I put myself through this, but yet I can’t help myself. I guess that for now, this is what I was ‘born again’ to do. I’m just curious, am I the only one with this ‘attitude’ problem? Is this normal or do I need a therapist?