Life . . . Outside

   There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth . . .
Ecc. 3:1 (MSG)

     As a Christian artist or minister, lay person or enthusiast, have you found yourself spending most of your time focused on dance, music, writing, poetry, singing, play writing, or any of the other art forms that can, if allowed, take on lives of their own?  I invite you to read and ponder the meaning of this quote:

      "Continue to learn about life outside of the dance studio, outside of the dance world. The richer you are as a person, the more interesting you will be as a performer.”
 ~Veteran Ailey dancer Renee Robinson

     Now, read the quote this way:

       "Continue to learn about life outside of ________, outside of the _____ world. The richer you are as a person, the more interesting you will be as a _____________."

     Do you see where this is going? We definitely need to invest time into honing our craft, but we also need to have a life outside of it. Our lives were never intended to be one-dimensional, in fact if you look around, there are very few things in nature that are truly flat, one-sided, or only come in one color. God, the ultimate Master-Creator, created the universe with infinite colors and shapes, sounds and dimensions. Each planet rotates on its own orbit and has its own axis around the sun. Each plant has a different seed, and within each plant there may be a variety of colors. Animals of the same species vary in size and breed. He created the seasons, the oceans, mountains and lakes. How much of these things have we really taken notice of, because are we so bogged down in our next song, choreography, poem, venue, or ministry engagement that we have forgotten to "stop and smell the flowers"? It's an old saying, but it's true.  We were never intended to be so involved in anything that we do to never enjoy the world around us.

      No matter where we live, or how many hours we work, or our financial situation, we can always find other positive interests to make life more exciting and interesting. Read a book about something other than what you do all the time. If you are in the dance ministry, why not go to the zoo or to the beach, just for the enjoyment of doing it?  Are you a poet? why not go to a museum? If you are a singer, think about learning how to play chess or something that releases you from singing for a change.

     The more things that you are exposed to in life, make you a more interesting person, and much more aware of the world around you. It's easy to get into a rut, and very difficult to get out, but once we make the effort to extricate ourselves from the routine of sameness, it's very liberating to us and to those whom we serve.

     Deeloping other interests also frees us from the pressure of competition with others, because when we live balanced lives, we learn that the only person we need to compete with is ourselves, the only person we should try to outdo is us,  and the only person we need to please, is God. So, definitely spend quality time on your craft and your ministry, but take time to have a life outside of it. The people you serve deserve the best you that you can offer them!

Selah . . .

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