It’s not with hammer and wood
Antoine de St. Exupery is purported to have said…
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them task and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
That quote draws me in, puts images in my mind of the vastness of the ocean, the vastness of our world and universe, the infinite vastness of God Himself. This, I believe, is what we aim for as writers of faith, to delve into that longing in our own being and to express it in ways that will draw others with us.
Think of a book you read that did that for you…
It will live well in your heart and mind for a very long time because it goes to the root of your being, your longing to be ever in the presence of God, your longing for truth.
The genius and the gift of all art is that it can take us there. I remember feeling it in an art history class many years ago. I had enrolled in the course because I felt a lack in my education. I knew very little about art but I knew it could be powerful, so I decided to learn more. As I stared at the slides our instructor flashed on a large screen on the first day of that class, I was transfixed. “Just take these in,” he said. I did, and was never the same.
That art changed me, made me more aware, more ready to receive, even though, at that stage in my life, I had no idea what I wanted or needed.
Viewing those representations of artwork, wrought centuries before, took me a step closer to venturing out into a spiritual journey.
It helped me long for the “endless immensity” of that sea.
The frustration of every artist is the limitation of his/her own self
The frustration lies in those parts of ourselves that block the genius, prevent us from reaching into that longing and embracing it wholeheartedly.
And there is hope. There is Christ, who always beckons, always encourages, always leads us to Truth because He is Truth. Though we are flawed and incapable, He is able to reach through our words and draw the hearts of our audience to Him.
I love the quote from Exupery because I imagine those people, my audience — people whose minds and hearts and souls have been touched by art in a way that makes them want to build and launch their own ships, to begin the journey to God that will take them deep into His presence.
I have been fortunate enough to witness some of their journeys and it makes all the effort worthwhile.
And I love the journey of my writing craft, because it takes me there too.
“O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me:
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
and to Your dwelling places.” (Psalm 43;3 NASB)
Thank you for taking the time to read. My name is Marcia Lee Laycock and I invite you to follow me if you’d like to read more of my work about finding the extraordinary in an ordinary life. 😊 Here on Medium you can find me at https://medium.com/pondrings and https://medium.com/koinonia
You can find me online here — www.marcialeelaycock.com for more information about my writing and speaking ministry.