The Risk Behind Art and Spirituality

A conversation with a good friend recently brought some clarity to this idea which has been floating over my head for years now. This interesting dichotomy-yet-relationship between art and spirituality has been a big one in my life. It has brought me much joy and excitement. But it won’t bring me much money.

Such is life.

The truth is that both of these areas require a certain willing disconnect between what I would call the desire for money and the true desire. Consequently these roads aren’t very inviting to one after money. It just doesn’t happen down either one.

Then there’s my dilemna: these are my two greatest desires. Honestly money has never concerned me much. The accumulation of dollars and cents just doesn’t show up very high on my radar. My thrills and chills have always come from designing strong visuals and learning about Jewish history; from learning new standards and hearing moving messages; from revealing introspection as well as critique of my own designs.  These things are very (strangely) organically connected. I can’t seperate the two desires; right now they are one.

Not only are they my greatest desires but they are my greatest strengths as well. When I was 12 (or so) I was given my first HTML book. Years later I have dominated standards and am working my way into the Fort Wayne web design world. I pirated Photoshop at an early age as well (who didn’t?) and explored. Now I work design and marketing at a church.

Around the same time I picked up the HTML book I began reading from the likes of C.S. Lewis (like this one, this one, and this). Lewis was really my first step out into the world of theology and apologetics. I was inthralled. I dove into the work of McDowell and other modern apologists. My early years in theology were steeped in things that I would later have little interest in. But enough of that – I could go on for hours about that. I’m now a philosophy/biblical studies double major at a respected evangelical private college. I’m studying what I’ve wanted to since I was a freshman in high school. Literally. I couldn’t enjoy the work more.

There seems to be something about these two disciplines that demands a respect and refusal to “sell out” for the sake of personal gain. They require more. So whether I go with either one – something which I refuse to let myself decide quite yet – I’m willing to accept little money. I’ve accepted it already. It’s okay. My life can be about other things. It can be about more. I don’t have to decide where I’m going right now.

Right now I walk in quiet reflection.

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