And when I run I feel His pleasure

From “Chariots of Fire”:
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. ” Eric Liddell

I spent my Sunday evening watching “Chariots of Fire” and “Inspector Lewis.” Both sets of stories talk about faith, and the lack thereof. I came to faith in my twenties, never having darkened the door of a church sanctuary. Thirty-eight years later, the gift of faith is still a mystery to me. Some have been given the gift, others have not…

The above illustration is part of a promotional image I did several years ago, reworked tonight. It’s the only “Chariots” sort of image in my portfolio. I used to think that in being an illustrator, I would have time to draw whatever I wanted, all the time. The truth in my life is that I usually only get to draw the things that I’m hired to draw, or things that I hope will help get me hired. The rest of the time I’m working at my ‘day job’–Building Code consulting– or looking for illustration jobs.

I usually have a long-term project that I’m working on; the last one took nearly three years to finish [partial below]. It’s still not really finished–in a static sense–I tweak it frequently, trying to get all of the details more correct, or changing the components. All of my digital illustrations are in Photoshop layers–the digital version of the cels [celluloid, a clear plastic] that the Disney Studio made famous. Images created on transparent layers that can be moved, adjusted, and if done properly, can create the illusion of depth. My long-term projects are usually what I consider my expression of ‘fine art.’ whatever that means. They usually are an expression of faith, in some fashion.

I generally don’t do ‘religious art’ images–‘blanket pictures’–everyone walking around wearing blankets… Faith for me is more than a Bible story. I never have been one to mess with other people’s lives. I’ve never appreciated when people have tried to mess with mine. I had the job of ‘messing with’ my children’s lives; and I tried to limit that involvement; I didn’t think it was my children’s job to vicariously live the life I was or wasn’t able to. So, my illustrations have tried to reflect the outcomes of my faith; particularly Grace–unmerited favor–a gift we do not earn or deserve.

I came to faith ‘kicking and screaming’ [those who know me know I do neither]; I did not want to become a religious person. Eric Liddell knew he had a purpose, and he was fortunate to know what it was. I’m still fumbling around, trying to figure it out. I encounter people, whether ‘live or on Memorex’- who talk about ‘losing faith’–another concept I don’t really understand. A gas jet was ignited within me thirty-eight years ago. Not a big flame, one could barely cook over it; and yet one that has not gone out. Thirty years of chronic pain, including twenty years of migraines [ice packs, lying in the dark]; and now a season of neuropathy–my skin has lost most of it’s sensitivity; and yet my deeper nerves continue to send messages of aching; sometimes sharp pains. Job’s wife told Job he should ‘curse God and die,’ and Job responded with, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” I never ‘found’ faith–it was something embedded within me; I don’t know how to lose it. Sort of like losing my liver…

Today was a crummy day; I spent most of it in bed or on the recliner. Fortunately, I feel better now that it’s early morning. My eyes don’t work correctly; the neuropathy has affected my eye muscles, and they don’t converge well, nor do they adjust quickly. I can empathize with my youngest son, who inherited my Mom’s crossed eyes.

When I draw [manually or digitally], sometimes I feel my Creator’s pleasure. Or perhaps share in the pleasure of Creation. Creation is pleasure, and I believe that this is why it has never stopped, and never will. Children know this intuitively; it’s usually the criticism of others that spoils the creativity, and sometimes keeps it from happening from that point onward. Sometimes the light never goes out.

forward to:
www.mjarts.com

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2 Responses to “And when I run I feel His pleasure”

  1. sf Says:

    I too had come to faith kicking and screaming…and clawing at the floor tiles. it’s hard to believe in a God full of love, who would love me individually, while at the same time wondering how He could love so-and-so, who’s all mean and messed up. And just like the Word says, one day, I see myself behaving just like the person whom I had been criticizing. How true, in regards to being just like those whose sins we’re pointing at, when we’ve got plywood-sized sins, faults, and crappiness to wide to measure. Thanks for sharin’. Sometimes posts like this can bring out so much from us, no? It’s like pouring our hearts out as we type. Although you may not be working continually and early a paycheck for your drawings and art work, as you had imagined might be the case (to not have your day job), you are certainly blessed to know and do what you are gifted in. I am thrilled for you that you know your gift and share it here with us – and give glory to God through them. But for me, I have yet to know what my – one – gift could be. Even my family members are clueless in regards to that. Did you say that you had come to faith when you were 38? I am there now. Will be 39 in a coupla months. I am trying to finish a Bachelor’s Degree before I hit 40 next year, but it doesn’t look like I’ll make that plan. Sigh. Again, thanks for sharin’. Cuz this post has sure encouraged me.

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  2. sf Says:

    Reblogged this on in da boonies and commented:
    Oh, how I can relate to this post. And it’s one sentence that I say just about everyday: “Today was a crummy day…”

    Like

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