Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grandest View

Have you ever felt as though you're confined to the state that you are currently within? Like, maybe the way your life has been going that, for the most part, you're charged with living it forever within the means that currently exist?

I've sure felt that way.

And I kind of knew that I would be feeling this way now.

I had a trip this summer that allowed me to have my views and sense of reality, really altered by the experience. I spent a greater portion of time than I had in the last 3 years just praying, sitting with my thoughts, and comparing them to what God was all about.

Suffice to say, I was living waaay off the mark of how I'm sure God was wanting me to. But, ya see, within that I realized that a good deal of what I should be doing, or should be focused on was simply being in tune with God and, in a lot of ways, letting Him take the first steps for me. So, I found that my troubled mindstate was dealt with in a way I hadn't allowed it to be in a great deal of time.

Thus, upon my preparation for return to Pittsburgh, I got the notion that, although I'd changed, hardly anything or anyone else would have when I arrived home. And I was right, in many regards to that.

So, sure enough, a month back and I found myself being very limited in what things I was able to do and experience, as well as, what I could share because, while I'd been brought to an understanding, I couldn't possibly bring myself to believe everyone else had too.

I felt trapped...but its actually not a really bad thing, ya see.

We seem to, as people, have this big problem with the letter "I." We kind of, use OURSELVES and OUR experience as this crazy measuring stick that everyone else should adhere too.

And, therein, I believe, is the crux of our troubles.

You see, when you're boxed in and feel like you can't express yourself and things you know and things you've got to share and... SEE, there's a lot of "You" going on there, isn't it? Imagine if, as an example, the world was full of people like...You. What would that look like? How many of use can really stand ourselves THAT much? I know I sure can't. As much as I like my crazy conceptualist nature...if we were all doing that, I'd have very little to do or think of. We'd all be doing that. And that wouldn't be great at all.

But, I'm on a slight tangent here... the idea I want for us to think of is that, for the most part, we've been given this ideal that OUR needs and wants are the paramount, ya know, the most important. Forget everyone else and what they may NEED, we should have things how, "I" the individual, WANT things to be as.

Now, I don't say that to mean that our individualism is horrible. God gave us that ability and its good. However, I'm trying to lay out some perspective here:

How many times has the catalyst for your feeling confined come from your inability to recognize that you are ONE note in GOD'S song? We ALL like to feel as though OUR place is important, and it is...but, and I find this as key, it can't be right to go along feeling as though your place is MORE important than the rest of humanity.

Take it like this, and I'll stop here because this is where I am now: If you were to pull back, literally sprawl back to a place where you could see the whole of everything and everyone that existed, where would you be? Would you see the course of reality and history being one that lead up to your sitting and (possibly) reading this blog here, or would the moments that resonate throughout eternity showcase multiple acts, by various people, lining up a grand image that equates to a storyline pointing to the one who has exited within and WITHOUT it?

I have ideas and stories and images that I'd like to get out there to the people in the world to experience...but, minus the perspective to see that my troubles aren't that amazingly limiting to what WILL be the point of existence, This box-like feeling I have now, just isn't all that important or pressing.

At least its not, in the Grandest View.

Think on it.

- Conduct Lionhardt

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And so it ends...

I have never really been one to think way too highly of my opinion. I am sure that I'm not the only one with that problem. I suppose that's why its taken me over a year to start up this blog.
I initially got the idea to do a blog when a website I had went under after a series of unfortunate events. (no pun intended. I'll speak on that in a future blog) I had used it for a few things including a wing of the site that I'd use to just toss down random thoughts. It didn't get much traffic and, at the time, it was a bit easier to use than a journal or paper (the curse of being a broke artist is that, paper makes better use being drawn on than written upon). After the site fell apart, I had a very long stint of not being able to get online in a frequent manner. So it went into hibernation until I decided that I would soon leave my job and go on a sojourn to, then, parts unknown. I figured I'd stop every now and then and blog things to my youth group, so they could see what I was learning as I traveled around.

But that never happened either, Ha, ha, ha.

So, here I am a week after the week I got back, starting the thing up.

My intentions for this blog have become a bit larger than just the random thoughts I have during the week. I intend to address an issue that I believe exists with myself here, that being a better understanding of who I am, to the kids I serve in youth group, the artists whom I support in music and the illustration field, and a place where I can interview friends and strangers. I also have an intention to post up other things of interests such as images of things I'm illustrating, some music I've done, and a fun maze or two.

But I'm going a bit long with this first post so, I wanted to leave you with something that I learned during my jaunt to Arizona that I just returned from:

I'm a Christian. (funny enough, my birth name is Christian, although I'm rarely referred to as such) When I went away I had become a very unproductive person. The job I had was monotonous and the level of stress I was under, drained the enthusiasm to be creative right out of me. I was finished...and my only idea of getting it all back was to flee to the desert and face God.
I must admit that the desert has an appeal to it, in that regard. People have been called to the "wilderness" throughout the Bible and even in the times since. I felt that it would be the correct move to get the answers I seek. I spent almost everyday fasting and just reading the bible until around 2 or 5pm.
In James, I read a scripture that I had several times and I saw a new message in it this time. James 1:1-18, he talks about going through trials and temptations. I'd read it before but, this time I saw a message that spoke to why I had ran off to the desert. In my former job, my co-workers and I were together in the thick of the frustrations the job produced. It was hard and I literally felt my spirit being pummeled while I was there. But what I didn't see at the time was that it was building up things in my walk with God. As I sat there re-reading this scripture during my days, God starting showing me instances where that trial and hardship I went through there had produced faith and understandings I could never have received in a happy and peaceful circumstance.
"Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be MATURE and COMPLETE, not lacking ANYTHING" - James 1:4
I would never have found the points of growth in both my natural and spiritual maturity, had it not been from the harshest of circumstances.

So, I guess my thought is that it was all that I had been battered with that brought my rut to a close and got me back to the point I'm starting at now. And, so it ends...the period of which I complain about my lack of "great job" or "Ideal circumstance." I don't learn anything from an easy, simple life.

And I wouldn't be here sharing my thoughts and how God is working through me, were it not for the difficulties that overwhelmed me.

- Conduct Lionhardt