This last week I was listening to the latest episode of the Building a Storybrand Podcastand one of the guests was an artist named Lisa Shirk. She had recently been through an interesting experience. She had spent five weeks as the resident artist in St. Gertrude's Monastery, a nunnery in Idaho. The lessons she learned from this experience were fascinating. She talked about how it took her about a week to adjust to the pace of life and absence of technology and influences from the outside world. Even though she participated in the meditation, worship, and meal times with the nuns, she still had most of the day to just work in her studio. At first, she was anxious because she wasn't sure if she would be able to create anything amazing while she was there but the nuns reminded her that this experience was about her and letting it transform her. Anything she created would be an outflow of what was occurring inside. Eventually she began work on a project encapsulating the seven days of creation which I think are absolutely breathtaking.

As I thought about her experience, I realized that I often have the same problem. I may not be an artist per se, but as a pastor I'm expected to "create" new content on a constant basis. Sometimes I get anxious, wondering if I'll come up with something to say. But I need the reminder that anything I say should be an outflow of the relationship I have with God. It really is just about the experience and letting God transform me. In the book of Habakkuk we read about the differences between idols and the God of heaven. To summarize the passage it says, “The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him" (Habakkuk 2:20). You may not be a pastor or artist but you have a message to share. As you sit in the presence of God, waiting and keeping silence before Him, you will have an experience to share. Let that message be the one you give.

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