2D versus 3D

Posted: June 1, 2018 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So I was on a Facebook forum this morning about one of my favorite entertainers, and a question was asked. ”We always talk about what we like about ___ is there anything you don’t like?” My first thought was, “That’s a weird question.” and my second was ”Am I really entitled to an opinion on that.” I read a few of the responses before remembering I have a busy day to get to, but of course it spurred a thought. A few of the posts were from someone who allegedly worked with said entertainer for 20 years. Now of course anyone can say anything on the internet, but let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt. It’s the different between 2D and 3D.

The entertainer in question is widely renowned musician among the best in the world and the greatest of all time. His reputation is also pretty good, but there is one thing that seems to bother a lot of people. He seems to be a pretty profound introvert. Personally that never really bothered me, but my relationship with him is 2D. I’ve seen him on screen most of the time, I’ve seen him perform live several times, but there is of course an invisible wall between him and I, so it’s really still 2D, like looking at a really big photo or watching on a huge screen. That’s as far as our relationship has progressed. He can be an introvert if he wants. It’s how he’s wired, he owes me nothing I just really appreciate his contribution to the world as he’s shared his gift. I’ve received what he has given and received it gratefully. Would I love to meet him? Sure, but I’m okay with things as they are.

So why am I sharing this? Well this isn’t just for big-time people with big careers. It’s for everyone with a platform–everyone who creates something and shares it with the world. In other words, it’s for you and me. I look at it like this. I love going out to speak and paint at other churches and venues. I feel like I really get to sow into people and I do everything I can to be a blessing, but I also understand that the relationship is different than my local church. The people don’t really get to know me well in the one to two hours I share with them before I pack my things and head for home or the next venue. I mean people can connect with me beyond that on social media, the web and I like that, (I’m an extrovert.) but the relationship with most is 2D. They see what I do, hopefully they like it, God works through it and it blesses them. I’m not their pastor, but hopefully their pastor can help them navigate any changes God has made, while I’m out on the road repeating the process.

The church I pastor is different.These relationships can very quickly become 3D because we do life together. We get to really know each other. They know my strengths and my weaknesses. I eat with them, I visit with them and we build stronger relationships. I’ve discovered I need to have both kinds of relationships and I’m guessing so do you. When I was traveling exclusively I made some lifelong friends, but I really missed the relational things you don’t get going from place to place. Conversely I could not give everyone I meet the attention I can give my church folks without sacrificing, family and friends, not to mention having the time to do the creative work that made the initial connection, the thing they know me for, the primary gift I can give them.

As creatives people often come to know us through our work. From there the relationship varies and we kind of get to decide how much we give to others. The artist I was referencing at the beginning is seen by some as a recluse. I’m sure that’s not the case. He just is a person who has set up boundaries that work for him. We all will need to do the same. Give of yourself and give generously, but also remember if we try to please everyone, we end up pleasing no one. Trust God and ask Him to help you see the boundaries. Even Jesus got away from the crowds and rested.

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