If life is art, who is my audience? What happens if I spend my life working on and creating things that no one sees or takes notice of? Why am I putting forth all this effort anyway, especially if there’s a possibility that no one will listen, read, or see it? What is my motivation to create anyway? If no one on this planet sees what I do, does it still have meaning or purpose? All these are good questions deep from the heart. We all want to know our lives have meaning and they do, but for whom?
Audience of One
It should be no mystery where I am going with this post. My actual question is, can I live my life for an audience of One and not out of motivation to be seen by many? This is a heart rending and deeply soul-searching question. It says, “Whose eyes do I produce for, and for whose pleasure do I create?”
Personally I have never met anything but the jealousy of God in my work and with my creativity. Jesus has made sure that first and foremost my producing is for Him, whether it is seen by another single soul. It has taken much time for me to die into accepting this position, because who doesn’t want what they do to be seen and appreciated by others? Whether it is artistic or literary creations or even my efforts at work, I, like most of us, want people to take notice of me and my labors. Somehow it feels like it validates my efforts, but does it really?
We Can Only Create for an Audience of One
In actuality, while looking to please man I erode my true ability to create. With my eyes cast upon man, I am led away from true creativity, not into it. I become nothing more than an organ grinder’s monkey and this is beneath my calling. I have not met a single man who has not, at one point or another, been a man-pleaser to some degree. It’s just that men have those immediate eyes of response, whereas God’s pleasure often comes in different ways. While He does express His pleasure, the dopamine rush of man’s approval can be addicting.
We all are called to please One, whether another single soul takes notice. Living, working, and creating for the audience of One is something beyond mere applause or likes; it is deeply rewarding and beneficial. In my next post I actually want to explore what some of those benefits are. There are benefits beyond the eternal, which I am able to enjoy now. I look forward to sharing them with you.
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:9
This is a detail in the painting that I am working on. I somehow discovered your website today. I have been reading the Philokalia, volume one. I google unfamilar terms as I read. I saw a bizarre word which I cannot recall but it was the name of a place where ( I think but am not sure) it was Job who buried Pagan idols that distracted practitioners and/or led to impure thoughts and actions. Somehow this blog appeared with other sites in my Google search. This segment of the book focuses on strict internal supervision of what is called… Read more »
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of Heaven will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper, who did his job well.” The Little Known, Janice Daugharty
It can take a lifetime to see the gift of “invisibility” as a blessing. But that’s what happens when He conceals a person in the shadow of His wings. Still it was frustrating for me and served as a cross that ultimately saved me from myself. Had I achieved the fame I craved when I was young, it’s unlikely I would have come to know Him like I do, because a career in music would have made me beholden and thereby a captive of men. He has made my life a musical, John, that I have written over the course… Read more »
So true! Thank you so much for commenting Jack and for sharing your experience with this. It has been a lifetime lesson for me as well. Often a very painful one. Under His wings you can feel a wide gamut of emotions. Seems that some of the last ones, which happen after surrender, are joy and contentment.
Again, thank you for commenting, hope to hear from you again in the future. Bless you!
John, I hope it’s OK I relate some thought about this – like you it’s been a life-long mystery. Continuing to meditate on the ‘treasure in the field’ parable and why the guy didn’t just run off with it to show off or make into merchandise, I’ve had several comforting thoughts. The first has to do with people of faith who are artists. While I don’t think artistry was unique to the Levites, they were known for their art – music, decorating the temple, the robes worn by Aaron and his sons – or so I seem to understand from… Read more »
You’ve given me some stuff to chew on in the morning. Thank you Jack! God bless.
If I can never be seen or heard by any other, it is enough and I am fulfilled. Praise my awesome God. Love you. Praying for the new books
Thank you Wanda, love you too! Looking forward to its release, thanks for standing and praying!
I am following this with great interest. Post again soon!
I hope you like Thursdays post. Love you Alex!
Your focus on the sovereignty of God and our relationship with Him gives me such light and hope and I can’t wait for your new book to come out! What is the title going to be?
Thank you for commenting Anna! I believe the title is going to be The Sovereign Touch. Still working on the final editing now. Hope to have it done soon. Thanks for asking! Bless you Anna!
Your words are timely – there is such pleasure in combining practicing the presence and playing for the audience of one…thx
That is perfect. Practicing the Presence and playing for the audience of One. They fit like a hand and glove don’t they? Love you Arleen, thanks for your commenting!
Yes, thank you, this resonates with me as well. On a physical level, it is the “audience” or the intimacy of ONE that is necessary, for reproduction to take place. It just happens naturally, when two people are in love, focused on each other. 😉 I like how you bring out the idea of “creativity,” as creativity is essentially (if anointed) reproductive in nature. If all that makes sense. :-0
It does make sense. Having an audience of One certainly is about love! Without that love relationship it wouldn’t work. He is so faithful!
Thank you so much for sharing this. It is something I very much identify with, being a creative and a Christian.
Thank you Stephen for commenting! So glad it spoke to you. It is huge for me too. Bless you, hope you enjoy the next one (on Thursday) as well. Would love to hear.