Artistic Meditation Disrupts Excessive Busy-ness

What a week!

Sunday – Ryan told a bit about our recent trip to Guatemala. (The music is good but if you are in a hurry then jump to the 40:20 mark. You may get the Show Hill App here.)

Monday  Prepared for a funeral – third in about three weeks. Participated in a Google Hangout with Northwestern Baptist Association and Marty Duren. Talked with our Staff about taking an unprecedented number of children to camp this summer. Attended to the normal Monday admin items. Work in the yard after work.

Tuesday Election Day – led a funeral and waited on Election returns. I found it like waiting on the news of either a disaster or success. Later in the evening we experienced the bittersweet. While I narrowly won the Ward 3 Council Seat, my friend and the current Mayor Bobby Williams lost. An aside here. When I was appointed to the City Council last year I intended to only fill the seat until they could have a regular election. After about 7 months of working with a great group of diverse people who want the best for the City of Tuttle, I relented and filed for the position. I learned something from Bobby, Billy, and Mary along the way. I also learned about them as people. When Teersa was added to the Council it appeared that while we all have different opinions about matters we functioned like a good team. I really enjoy those environments. Losing Bobby was not just sharing the blow of an event a new friend experienced, but it was felt at the level of a team losing a very good player.

Wednesday – I fielded a number of phone calls from those wondering what the election means. I have a host of thoughts on the matter but determined to take the events like good teams do. We keep playing and doing the things that make us a good team. I called to congratulate our Mayor-Elect, Tommy Joe “TJ” Chester. My hope is that the team does not miss a beat moving forward. We have three solid department heads in our Police Chief, Fire Chief and new TPWA Director. Our City Manager knows the ins and outs of City government that no Council person has the time to know, unless of course they are retired and intend to be an armchair City Manager. At which point you should be able to see the obvious conflicts. Staff Lunch, in office conversations, and more phone calls were followed by handing out food boxes at Snow Hill’s Wednesdays Are for Others and ensuring our Community of Hope Free Medical Clinic volunteers staff had what they needed to care for patents. Rung out and passed out.

Today Breakfast with a couple of young local business men who make me feel young and are way to complimentary of this old guy. Writing this post and finishing up a couple of items before taking a few hours off. We get to have Max for a few days while our youngest daughter and her husband take a well-deserved 5 Year Wedding Anniversary Trip. Congratulations Tommie and Jason! Back in the office a bit this afternoon. Later this evening I will help facilitate an online learning event with a couple of friends.

Tomorrow – My day off with Max.

I know you are interested in my day. That is why you followed this post all the way down. If you are still reading, I think it is important to offer something more than a sort of diary. Busy-ness comes to us all. I read where busy-ness is the new false humility. How do we face such a common human experience?

Steven Pressfiled wrote the little book, The War of Art. One of my takeaways from reading this book, at the encouragement of my friend Mark Riddle, was that art functions in a disruptive mode. It does not allow us to look at life and experiences in the normal vein. It is much like everyone trying to assert their opinion about the new Noah movie as if there is a single interpretation. Art is experienced as an event that shatters our tendency to plot life on a line, easily categorize our experiences, and attempt to reduplicate the good times by following a prescribed agenda. Generally we learn that we cannot re-create the exactness of a compelling moment.

Our lives need and infusion of art – the sort that is not kitschy but pesky. The kind of art that alters our way of thinking. It is the sort of experience that we Christians lay claim to encountering when we talk of the impact of the story of Jesus. We cannot so neatly and carefully classify the story of Jesus into a series of belief statements. Instead, we read how Jesus treats women with horrible experiences not as discards of human society but as human beings of value and worth. We read the way Jesus brings light to those who do not have it and exposes those who think they see as blind. And, if we admit to embracing the transformative power of the story then we also must confess the way it challenges our very practices toward others.

My friend Spencer Burke is a gifted photographer who knows how to capture what he sees artfully. His current project, Monotation, challenges the viewing not necessarily to see his photographs as great works of art, though they are. But he really hopes that you sit tiwh the captured image and let it shutter the busy-ness with a bit of meditation how the normal experiences of life contain the extraordinary feature of jarring us from missing life. So, take a Monotation in your busy day and let the art work its transformation that makes of you a more caring, valuable, investing sort of person.

Image Credit

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.