Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Intarsia

There's a lot running through my mind right now. It is therefore my hope that it all congeals into some sort of concentrated thought process. We'll see.

I was at House Church a few weeks ago when an interesting topic came up. It was the idea that so many of the people my age seem to dabble in so many different things, never necessarily settling on one particular passion. We might be passionate about the arts, while at the same time passionate about ending world hunger, while at the same time desiring to be a successful business person, while at the same time holding aspirations of being a model, musician, singer, artist...you get the idea. For the longest time, I would look at the seemingly schizophrenic nature of my interests, the things that at times seemed to war against each other (or at least be in sharp competition) and think, "I really need to pick one." I just knew that the only way for me to truly be "happy" in life was to focus on something that I was good at, or could get good at and pursue it with all the fire and gusto that I could muster. I knew that it was absolutely necessary for me to choose. I couldn't have the proverbial cake and eat it at the same time- it was up to me to choose. But then I heard something from an associate of mine that has forever changed the way I view my passions, many and varied as they might be. I'm a part of the mosaic generation.

Let's start with some basic definitions. A mosaic is distinctly defined as "
a picture or decoration made of small, usually colored pieces of inlaid stone, glass, etc. " according to our wonderful friends at dictionary.com. So let's unpack that for a moment . The picture, whatever it may be, could not exist were it not for the individual, seemingly disjointed elements that are fit (sometimes perfectly and sometimes imperfectly) together. By themselves and standing on their own, each little pebble, piece of broken glass or metal is relatively inconsequential. Sure, some may have some level of intrinsic value based on their luster, their shape, or some other aesthetic property, but by and large, they're worth very little alone. In fact, in many cases, had the pieces not been used for some artistic purpose, they may even have been discarded. But here they sit, ready to be used to create a grand design that no one but the artist can fathom. So, slowly and painstakingly he or she places one small piece ever so gingerly, ever so carefully on the canvas of choice. A red pebble bunches tight against a shard of the sharpest broken glass, a crushed marble shimmering in its iridescence is juxtaposed harshly next to a smooth surfaced piece of iron, while paper thin layers of pearl lay ever so sweetly beside common gravel. Why and for what purpose are these seemingly incongruous elements coming together? What does my love for art have to do with my desire to see equality come to the most impoverished areas of our world? What does my love of "the finer things in life" have to do with how saddened I am when I walk next to a child who's next meal isn't accounted for? What does any of it have to do with anything else? I have no idea.

But here's what I know- I know that there's a piece of art being created. I know that the days of picking and choosing only the things at which we think we can excel wholeheartedly are, if not gone, then relegated to an ever shrinking majority. But for those of us within the minority, for those of us who have looked at the landscape of our life and wondered if there was something wrong with us, wondered if we were scattered or missing it because we just couldn't seem to "settle down" know that we are passionate about all the things we are passionate about, and there's no fault in that. We are passionate about changing the world and loving living in ours. We are passionate about pursuing the desires of our heart and changing the hearts of others. We are passionate about having our life count for more than nothing, more than the pursuit of a fleeting, fantastical notion that this is all there is. We are passionate about much, and we are in love with the idea that what we pursue- all we pursue- is part of some grander glory. We believe that the pains of these experiences we face, the unease we sense at being complacent, the constant internal drive to evolve, be better, change, is all a part of some grander plan. This is all a part of some greater...something that points to the "glory that will be revealed in us." This seeming mess of passion and emotions is actually something much bigger. This is the desireS of my heart and yours joining together side by side in their disjointed way and making something beautiful. This is asphalt beside gold, and diamond beside glass. This is copper atop ruby, noble against ignoble, and glory upon glory because God created it and when he created it, all of it, it was "good."

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I couldn't agree more! When I looked at my life and saw Writing, Running, Cycling, Directing, Photography, Acting/Modeling, Missions, Painting, Graphic Design, etc. I thought: crap. That's a lot. But when I put the question as to which one I should do to God he said, "Why not all of them?"