Right now life is pretty crazy. To be honest this is the busiest I have ever been with more stuff on than I would ever consider to be wise. The funny thing is that I am fine with it. It is all stuff that I want to be doing, I don't feel captive, I am living the dream.
Last weekend I was on the Gold Coast (Australia) to a conference for this online publication that you are now reading. On the 4th of October I am going to Cambodia with my girlfriend to volunteer at a refugee camp doing art therapy, and for the last two weeks I have been in L.A. and Mexico helping build 'an artisan retreat' called Terra Nova, a creative conference put on by Mosaic L.A.
The day I flew out to the States I signed myself and a friend up to the lease of a warehouse, a space that we are going to make into a space of inspiration, collaboration, and creativity. I had such a day of running round and organizing stuff that I didn't get to pack until 30 minutes before I left!
As the plane took off I thought about the poor timing of all this and how I was going to be spending two weeks away from home when all I want to do was get stuck into some things I have been dreaming about for a long time. Not being able to do anything when there is a lot to do always makes me anxious!
On top of all that I also have a lot of my normal commissioned work on (fitting out a cafe, crafting some special wooden plates for another restaurant), and there are deadlines for all of it! Like I said I have quite a bit on.
So off I flew to L.A. The sun was shining. The city was booming and I loved it! As we drove out to the mountains where Terra Nova was held I was struck by the beauty of California, I was surprised and delighted.
We got to the place where Terra Nova was being held and got stuck into building these huge creative art installations. Part of me was frustrated because I was building these installations, working long hours (8.30am - midnight!), when I wanted to be working on my own stuff.
To be honest I started to get a little down on all my commitments, and I was loving being at Terra Nova, but it just felt that I had so much else that I needed to be doing. At one point of the weekend I got a little scared about what I have just signed myself up to. I still am scared.
I suppose that the take home point for me came as I simply could do nothing but serve over there in what was right in front of me at the time. I remembered that Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and this spoke to me in a new way.
Another really helpful thing was Erwin McManus' sermons. The theme of Terra Nova was a paraphrase of Ephesians 2 verse 10 - "That you are a work of art, and an artist at work". The NIV puts it like this "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works". This spoke to me again, and refreshed my soul in this busy time, and reminded me that I am having a good attempt at good works.
It is my conviction that as followers of Jesus, who has come to give eternal life, we are to be at the cutting edge of eternal life. Our lives should be characterised by creativity, service, and many other types of good works.
Please be encouraged, and continue to do good works with me.
Jared Diprose is a graduate from Carey Baptist College in New Zealand. He is self employed as a carver and craftsman, and believes in the power of words to change lives.
Jared Diprose' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jared-diprose.html