I know I will never be the greatest artist in the world. That title would go to Rembrandt or Van Gogh or someone named after a Ninja Turtle. I also probably won’t be the greatest preacher in the world. That title would probably go to someone named Sunday or Edwards or Graham or Evans. So if the greatest in the world in both my passions is probably put of reach, what should I do? I used to say I would strive to be the greatest David Weiss out there, but I’m sort of pulling for my grandson in that category now. What’s left?
Well the fact of the matter is everything I do is subjective. You know this to be true, in the field of art, people either love your work or hate it (or worse yet ignore it) and it all depends on who is receiving it. Preaching is similar, but ultimately that is up to God to judge and He would remind us that to be great in His Kingdom is to be a servant. Maybe the greatest and, for that matter greatness, is the wrong pursuit altogether. Still there is something to be said for pursuit. Pursuit keeps us from resting on our laurels and keeps us working to improve, and that is definitely a worthy pursuit. So then what should I pursue?
Well the first pursuit is obvious to the believer. I should be pursuing God. Remember what Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. After that, the next pursuit is faithfulness. Doing the most I can with what God has given and the opportunities He presents. I really believe that this must be the soul of human endeavor. How does this manifest?
Well for me, I think that a lot of prayer is involved, followed by a lot of hard work. I also know myself well enough to understand that it’s easy to get my priorities out of whack. This is the power of seeking God first. I know I have to lead by example. If I want the people I lead to follow Jesus, I need to follow Jesus. If I want the people I lead to use their gifts to serve the Lord, I have to serve the Lord and if I want the people I lead to be creative, I need to set the tone by being creative.
This year I challenged myself to do a piece of art a day for the year. In truth, this was easy for me. I often do multiple small pieces a day and have probably long since passed 365 pieces for the year. Truth be known I didn’t do this for me. I often hear people say they’re not inspired or they don’t have time and I am trying to prove that wrong. Now not everyone can do a piece of art every day. My art is often cartooning and goes pretty fast by nature. Other media take a very long time by virtue of the skill level required, media limitations, etc. You don’t have to do something every day and faithfulness to God demands that you take time to rest, but faithfulness also requires doing the work and this is the example I am trying to set forth.
In the coming year, I am thinking about a new challenge that will stretch me even further but I am still praying about it. I think it will allow me to expand the reach of my ministry, draw attention to the things I feel called to do, but I also know it could be taxing, so rather than just jump in, I am going to pray some more. The thing we need to remember is we need to be faithful to God, and we need to be faithful in doing the work, but we also need to be faithful to our families and our other responsibilities. In my case, I pastor a wonderful church that I love. Part of faithfulness is serving them well. The object of the “game” here is not to be busy. The object is to be doing what God has called us to do in ever area of life. It can be a tough balancing act, but it’s importance cannot be overlooked.