I’ve been following Matt Appling’s blog The Church of No People for over a year now and I’m so excited that his first book Life After Art released just this past week. I asked him if he’d stop by and share with us a little about his book. (I also asked him if he’d give a copy of his book away. He said yes. Yay.)
I know, you don’t need anything added to your to-do list.
Guys, if you’re like me, your honey-do list is a mile long. Ladies, I know you’re being pulled in ten different directions. We live lives that are constantly moving. We are strapped for time, for energy, for money, for…everything. And somehow, by the most tenuous means, we are keeping it together, or at least we have the appearance of keeping it together.
Really, the students that I teach are no different. Some of them play on four baseball teams. I don’t even know how that’s possible. Others are in multiple clubs while still others are constantly being driven from this practice to that rehearsal. My high school students say they don’t go to bed until at least midnight after they get home from practice and then do homework…and probably waste some time on Facebook like the rest of us.
But let me ask you this.
In all of the busyness, the constant moving, how much of our time, our energy, our love, our resources, our lives are spent engaging things that actually bring us fulfillment, joy and peace?
My guess is for many of us, the list gets quite a bit shorter with that question.
We spend a lot of time doing things we must do. And we spend much of the remaining time doing things we feel we must do. We feel we have to keep up with the neighbors, get ahead, compete. We live in a competitive world. But many of us we leave very little time for ourselves to engage in things that restore us, connect us to our Creator.
Somehow, things that restore us get pushed to the back burner, the end of the to-do list. And that’s why people burn out, have crises of faith, crises in their marriages, mid-life crises. Because we just aren’t doing the things we were created to do.
Dirt Under God’s Fingernails
I imagine that God still had some dirt under his fingernails when he finished shaping Adam from the dust of the garden. Maybe some dust stuck to his lips as he breathed his spirit into the dirt-man’s mouth.
It’s my belief that our entire lives can be viewed through the prism of what we are creating. Creating music, art, words, memories, children – anything – not only engages our minds and bodies, but connects our souls in a very special way to the Mind that created us. Creating puts us in a posture of worship as we imitate our God.
No Time to Be Human
But when I tell people (or write a book) that boils our existence down to creating, some people resist. They say they are just not creative. Other people insist they don’t have the time to be creative or the skills to be creative.
But I’m not here to put one more item on your honey-do list.
I’m talking about doing something you deserve to do. I’m talking about placing priority on yourself, as a created human, a bearer of God’s creative image. It’s about doing something that God created you to do. You don’t have to turn creating into a competition or a home business or start an Etsy shop to justify the time you spend creating. Just do it because it brings you joy.
That’s really what my heart is for anyone who reads Life After Art. It’s not about becoming an “artist” with paint and canvas. It’s about becoming the humans that God created us to be.
Matt Appling is a teacher, pastor and writer. His first book, Life After Art, was released April 1 by Moody Publishers. Watch the video preview, buy the book and get lots of free resources at LifeAfterArtBook.com
Want to win a copy of Matt’s book? Leave a message in the comments about one creative part of your life, whether it’s something that is already a priority or something you would like to make a priority. I’ll draw a name and the winner gets a free book. Easy schmeasy.