On Retreats: The necessity of awe

25 Jul

Art is hard. Hope is harder still. Fears abound: will I ever get started? Can I continue? Will it be good? Will it pass the test?

To all artists, a piece of unsolicited advice:  Every day, take a mini retreat. Maybe it is a five minute pause with your eyes closed while the teakettle comes to a boil, or maybe it is a poem, a painting, a walk in the garden or the woods, a dance to your song on the radio. Activate awe. Breathe. Notice. Take time to be you, living.

You are an artist today, which means you are risking your ego for something better. 

Take the example of the reluctant prophet Jonah. Try to enjoy the ride. In the belly of a whale is a whole lot better than drowning. You chose this path and then this path chose you. Be grateful. After you are air-borne from the whale, dust yourself off. Kiss the dry land. Get to the people. Focus on your story. Yell or whisper, dance or paint—just say it. Unlike Jonah, don’t run away. Don’t be overly proud of yourself—we’re all lowly or highly sometime...so stick around for the meal, the fun, the laughter, the joy in company. Stick around to be a part of the change you want to see. Enjoy God and His transformation of culture, one stinky lovely whale breath at a time.

Share your favorite daily mini-retreat in the comments below. How do you find and maintain your center? 

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