Day 18 p. 197-210
This fall I reached a new milestone in my life, my 10 year high school reunion. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since I graduated and began studying art photography at University of New Mexico. Throughout the past few months, my social media feeds have been flooded with memories and photos from those days that helped to shape my world view.
In art school I was taught to question everything. Always asking, “What could make this better? What needs to change? How can I convey my message clearly?” These questions caused me to embrace a mindset of discontentment. As an art student, it’s easy to fall into the trap that being discontent with your work also means you are discontent with who you are. After all, for most of us, we pour our whole selves into our work.
There is an impossible balance between contentment and a desire to improve. In order to create something great, there needs to be a certain amount of discontentment. It’s important to understand that this discontentment cannot be focused on ourselves. It has to be focused externally.
Today we have the opportunity to read through the one of Paul’s letter to the early church, and in it he shares with the church that he “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” Paul is talking about contentment as a way of relying on God. We have the opportunity to put our trust in Him. Whether we are rich or poor, God uses those moments to strengthen our trust in Him.
It is important to realize that God has placed each of us in our current situation for a reason, and that we must be content where He has us. That does not mean that we cannot strive to improve, and do the best we can where we are with what we have.
To be a healthy creator, you have to constantly evaluate your level of personal contentment and artistic discontentment. We should strive to live a life of abandon to change the world. But we must live a life of contentment with God.
About The Author
Stewart Linthicum, Communications and Creative Media Director at Oakland Heights Baptist Church, was born and raised in Longview, Texas, and moved to the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico) when he was 18 years old. From the time he was young, he had an innate desire to create. As he grew up through school and in the workforce, he continued to find ways to use his creative and artistic gifts to share the message of the Gospel with those around him.