Article Offbeat

Where are you on your Jesus journey? Are you just starting out, heard the Gospel since you were born?

Wherever you’re at, I think there is an innate feeling in all of us that desires to do something different. We’re all just a little too scared to try it.

Even though I started following Jesus when I was 5 years old, for years I thought that my story wasn’t as exciting or inspiring as other stories. But over the past 4 years, God has been slowing teaching me that YES my story is exactly what it is meant to be.

My story may not have a crazy plot change in my high school or college years. I may not have had a tragic event where I encountered Jesus for the first time. But my story is important too.

Every walk is a continued process of Jesus bringing us more and more to life and constantly learning more about His character.

Along that walk there are stages. And even though it really freaks me out, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is the time to start REALLY serving with the heart of our King! It’s time to serve with the talents we’ve been so undeservingly given.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a God that is insightful and trustworthy. He reveals the parts that are most in tune with His design and plan. If we trust his character, He will always come through.

In Scripture, God doesn’t promise that He’ll give us every, little piece to the puzzle, but He does promise that if we have faith and boldness He will come through (Matthew 28:20).

We’re not called to easy work, we’re called to Jesus work. I love how Douglass C. Mann says in his book, The Art of Helping Others, “To flourish requires others, to find contentment by being connected in relationships.” He continues to discuss how comfort isn’t found in solitude, but in relationship.

Many times we think that as artists we need to be by ourselves to fully dive into our creative worlds. I’ve found that this solitude only creates deeper solitude, not creativity. This solitude doesn’t create a lifestyle of imagination or originality, but in fact stifles God’s original design for our own lives. We were designed to be in relationship with others. Our souls are satisfied because of Gospel delight.

The work we do as creative followers of Jesus calls us to constantly plunge deeper into the water, discovering and gaining insight. These discoveries have so much purpose and let us decipher how we are going to love people best.

And if we choose not to love, we are not bearing the attributes of Jesus.

In this world, we need a push of boundless love and less conditional relationships. Why not jump into our communities with love?

Instead of escaping the things we don’t like about out communities, why not add parts that we think are missing? Why not start simple things that will create great change.

Why not start something new? Why not create the change for the area?

Do you see a lack of creative community in Carbondale? Start a group that meets to express creativity!

Want to get outside and enjoy Giant City State Park? Start a hiking group.

Do it! You are gifted for ministry! It doesn’t have to be extravagant or perfect. But you CAN do it! You really can.

Find something that you love and do it with other people. Make it different and don’t be afraid to be a little offbeat.

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