Monday, October 24, 2011

Note to Self

Devotional by Margot Cioccio
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Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things 
will be given to you as well.

I am realizing at 12:03 Monday morning that I should have written this earlier. I actually did start on one, but was not sold on the direction I took with it. The easy thing would be to let myself off the hook and say I'll just write something inspiring in the morning. But I'm a little peeved at the moment because of something my husband said about me not finishing things. I always finish them just not on his time table.  I tend to view life as a journey and I happen to have a number of creative interests. I will work on music for a while and then set it aside for a while and focus on writing or art. None of them ever stop in my mind. The rests in a piece of music are just as important as the notes that are played. There are times when I don't feel very well understood - this is one of them.
It already forgiven but I feel some what compelled to explain how I see things. Perhaps I may at some point need to see them in a new way but here's where I'm at today. 

When I was in college the teachers all said I needed to focus on one area of art. I just could not pick one area only to work on. I'm sure they were right. I just am not able to give up my sense of wonder of the creative process as it is worked out in a variety of mediums. There was a long time that I beat myself up for being so scattered and not being able to focus on just one thing. I did try to narrow my focus and fit myself into the box of others expectations. Something in me kind of died when I had to do art or music because that's how we payed the bills. It stopped being art and became manufacturing. Music and Worship became the dog and pony show. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

I know it may appear that I am just blissfully led along by the Holy Spirit with no thought of tomorrow. I do try to live today and be led by the Holy Spirit today. Even in that I always have goals that I am working towards. I have systems in place to deal with the scattered way my mind tends to work. I am purposeful about creating structures and frameworks with in to be creative. I know when I begin a project what it will be in the end. I hold both the present state of the project and the vision of the final end in my mind. When I can't see ahead clearly I stop and try to find more clarity. I have been thinking about the script of my life and what it might look like if I was given a new script.  I liked this quote " What would that script look like? If you can fill in the blanks on that one, you have imagination. If you can see the blanks being filled in you have faith. And if you have faith, you have your new reality. Jesus defined reality." Laurie Beth Jones

For the longest time I kept the creative process as something that I only employed for art projects. I have found that it works for life too. If I can see the thing in my head I know I can get there. I don't know the details on the how, or when. If I can see it. I have faith to believe that God will get me there or he would not have shown it to me. Sometimes I have to search for the missing pieces of the puzzle. Sometimes I have to stop and wait till the picture in my head gets a bit clearer. It may seem I've set something aside for a time. The circumstances may look like there is no way to get from here to there. I have learned you may not be able to see around the next bend in the road till you get there. You get there by taking the steps of faith before you today, and the next. You keep going. Its not a double minded kind of thing where I have faith one day and doubt the next. The stuff the Lord shows me I hide in my heart, I don't always understand it all but I have learned to trust that he will give me more clues as I continue to believe and trust Him to lead me into His plans and purposes. So my kind of scattered approach to life.... I've come to believe its just how God has wired me. So rather than try and turn myself inside out to be something that I am not. I have learned to go with it. While I might have been able to become amazing in one area I have chosen to be better than average in a variety of things that I love to do.

In my life coaching studies there are some interesting project forward five years kind of exercises. I think they are great. They push things out far enough in the future that you can begin to see what is important to you. Once you can see what is important you can begin to take action to move towards doing more of what is important and less on the distractions.  I have always approached my life from the perspective of I don't want to wait till I retire to do the things love to do. I want to do them all the time. I probably could have been more responsible and made more money. I have told people that have challenged me and tried to judge my life by their standards of success, that you need to measure with the right yardstick. I love this quote “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein
I would rather do the things that make me happy today, to make time for the people and the things that are important to me today.  Why - because none of us really knows how many todays we will have. I have never wanted to look back on my life and regret that I did not spend it doing the things I love.

There is another thing that mixes in with all that. It is the verse Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. Call me crazy but I believe that verse is true so I have made it a kind of compass for my life. As a result I have put much of my time and energy into my relationship with the Lord, and that has spilled out into a lot of things.  I heard an illustration once that people are more attracted to dolphins than sharks. Dolphins love what they are doing, they are fun and playful. Sharks are out for the kill. So I try to take the dolphin approach to influencing people. I endeavor to live my life and love what I am doing and I trust that somehow God makes me flavorful and salty. You take a bite and it makes you thirsty for living water.

Well its 1 am and if I'm going to function tomorrow I need to go to bed. Please forgive the typos its late and I'm sure it will be months before my editor gets to this one.

Dear Lord, Help us to seek first your Kingdom purposes. Help us trust that you are able to get us from where we are today to where you want us to be in the future. You understand how you wired us. You know our strengths and our weakness and you have created on purpose and you know when to step in and do a sudden transforming work and when to walk us through a day by day, little by little, character growing change.

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