Posts Tagged ‘hard work’


I apologize for having been a little short on posts these last few days. Basically life has been kind of a whirlwind, lately. In addition to all the art ministry stuff, I’m a pastor and for a pastor Easter is about the busiest time of year. There are extra services and special activities, not to mention the day to day things that have to be done. Some people think pastors only work one day a week. Those people are wrong—really, really wrong. In addition to all that I lead our adult Bible study, for which I am also writing the curriculum. Around all of this, the speaking/painting ministry is still going. I left my church after service and our council meeting to drive two and a half hours to preach four nights of revivals and around all of that I’ve been preparing for a day long continuing education workshop I will be leading for my denomination’s educational group on Saturday. Around all of that, I am also working on getting my Masters in Creative Ministry (fortunately that last component is a work at your own pace program), and believe it or not, that’s not all of it.

Now there was a time, when I would have written something like all of the above to boast about all I’m doing, hoping somewhere deep down inside someone would be impressed. That is still a danger, but it’s not really how I feel these days. You see something struck me last night as I was finishing my first revival message, it was a feeling, I never really experienced back in the days where I worried what everyone thought of me. As I looked out to the faces of the people gathered in that country church, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and thinking “I love what I do.” I’m not rich, I’m not famous. I’m not any of those things I used to think I had to be to matter. I’m just happy and there’s something else. I’m grateful.

There’s that old adage that says “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I get what they’re trying to say, but I can’t go quite that far. No the truth is, it’s a lot of work and getting to this place took a lot of work and sacrifice combined with doing a lot of stuff I didn’t always love. I know God can just drop wonderful things in our laps, but I also know He doesn’t always work like that. Truth be known, the stuff I didn’t love doing, helps me to appreciate what I get to do, enough to do all the work it takes to get to do what I love.

What can you take away from this? Work hard toward doing what you love and trust God. He has a plan and purpose in all of it, so press on.

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The old adage says “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Of course that’s not really whether mean. What they mean is do what you love and you’ll usually work harder than anyone else to keep doing what you love. You just won’t mind so much because you’re doing what you love. I know this to be true and I live it on a daily basis. This life of creative arts ministry is a lot of work. Between my church and my traveling ministry I put in a ton of hours. There is no substitute for practice, and the continued development of your gift in a life in the arts. People act as if the creative lifestyle is impractical. It’s not, you just have to decide whether or not you are willing to put in the effort it takes to do what you love.

Look anybody can do something they hate, (or mildly dislike, or whatever) for the money. I’ve had to and I would again if it came to it. I have responsibilities to the people I love. That being said, if I have my way, I’ll put in whatever effort I must to keep having the opportunity to create.

Why do I post this? Because I run into too many people who want it all now and wonder why it doesn’t happen instantaneously. Heck, I’ve been that person too. The truth is (outside the blessing of God) the road to your dream is usually paved with a lot of hard work. So practice, practice, practice. Create, create, create and then (and this is often the hardest part) put your work out there for the world to see. Also, the Bible says me the most of every opportunity… and while that passage is largely about sharing the Gospel, I think it applies to every area of life, especially the creative life. Whenever you get the opportunity to do what you love, do it for all you’re worth. Bring your all to the project. Do it as if you were doing it for Jesus, because at the end of the day, if you care about glorifying God with your life, that is exactly what you’re doing.

I remember seeing Skillet live at the Creation festival. They had already been playing for years, working hard, building a fan base and all of those other things that are covered by that simple little statement “paying your dues.” Then one year they got an evening slot on the main stage. That night they would play before 80,000 people and they brought it. Their performance was superb and they had more pyrotechnics and other show elements than anyone I Christian band I had ever seen and all the secular ones except possibly Kiss. Why do I share this? The had played thousands of gigs to get to that point, including many I’m sure to small audiences and in tough situations, and then one night the faithfulness paid off, they got a golden opportunity and they did it for all they were worth. As far as I am concerned they had cemented themselves into the role of headliners in that night, but that amazing performance was the result of lots of faithfulness, putting their hearts into their faith and their craft day after day after day. If we want creative success, if we want to do what we love, that’s what we must all do.


I like most people in the world and watching the Olympics. Watching these young people excel at this level is amazing. The things they can do with their bodies are mind-blowing. They literally seem superhuman and from the recliner, I know it’s not something I can do or will be able to do on this side of the grave, but then it struck me.

These people started with some natural abilities beyond a doubt, but they’re not getting by on it. They took that with which they have been blessed and they work it, A LOT. This is what you have in common with the best in the world. You have natural abilities at something, there is something you are gifted to do. From there what will separate you from everyone else is one thing… HARD WORK! Will you do what it takes to be the best you can be?

Bring God your best, do it for all your worth and trust God with all of it. That’s what it takes to glorify God. Remember St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is a [person] fully alive. We get there when we take all that God gives us and make the best of it in Him.

Bring greatness to the Greatest!