The Three Ds All Artists Need to Be Aware Of…

Posted: January 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

Last night I had this weird dream. I was setting up a worship service in a warehouse. There were some really unusual things about the dream, but what I remember most was all the amazing art that was hanging on the walls around the pulpit area. I don’t know if I painted it though in the natural much of it exceeded my current abilities, but when I awoke I had all these amazing ideas for art projects. Part of me wanted to sprint to the studio and get to work, but before I go there, I need to deal with the three Ds.

Is it a Diversion? Diversions can be a wonderful thing. For those of us who really embrace our creativity, there will inevitably be times when we find ourselves stuck. It’s times like these that I will go to a diversion. This is an outside project. I almost always have my sketchbook nearby, I often have a canvas on the easel and a model kit on my table. These are all things I do just for fun. They are all creative, but it’s often a different level of creative, something that will allow me to change my thought process for a little while. Working on a diversion project allows me to re-focus and before long I’m usually getting ideas for my primary project. The side effect of this is, these side projects are also usually in areas where I am trying to reach out and build relationships. They are not directly Christian projects most of the time, but they help me to meet new people as I share the results online. Reading can also fall into the diversion category. I do a lot of reading for my actual work, but I usually have a work of fiction on hand just for the sake of enjoying reading. The upside of this is, reading these stories can help me become a better storyteller, which is essential to what I do. My best definition of a diversion is it is something that while taking me off task and allowing me to refocus, can also be useful to me as I pursue my mission.

Is it a Distraction? Distractions are things that will take me off task and keep me from accomplishing my goals. They are primarily wastes of time. Things like social media, and some television can be huge distractions. They change my mood, upset me and generally hamper my creativity. This can also apply to creative projects if they are taking me off task. Distractions defeat creativity and take me off mission. The difficulty here though is sometimes I use social media a lot to reach out to people, keep in touch, and make connections for my ministry. Likewise too much diversion can become a distraction. Many of these things are not black and white and it can be very difficult to tell a diversion from a distraction sometimes, which leads us to the final D word.

Discernment. Discernment comes from prayer and the Word, but in this case mainly prayer. Will what I am currently doing move me closer to God’s goals for my life (my mission) or will they hamper me from doing what I am supposed to be doing? None of the things I saw in my dream or woke up thinking about doing were sinful. All of them could build my skills and possibly build connections with others, so they are not particularly easy to check off the list and so I must prayerfully consider how God might be leading me to move forward. One of the things I find helpful is alluded to above. I make a list. I record the ideas I have had. That way I don’t forget them in the discernment process. Plus I only have so many hours in a day. I can’t possibly do them all simultaneously, so recording them is key. Some of those ideas may move into the diversion pile, a few may prove to be distractions and some might even be part of my mission. We need to trust that God is big enough to move us in the direction He wants us to go. We need to trust the Spirit to lead.

God is faithful. Even as I was considering which of these projects were which, God brought this three D. concept into clarity and led me to write it down to share with you. None of it was earthshaking. I’ve posted. about all these elements before, some numerous times, but I have not thought to link them together in this way before. I pray it blesses you and moves you toward discernment. We can’t do it all, and we need to finish what we start. I truly believe this 3D process could be a great place to start.

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