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Epic Theology

Finding God through the lens of an artist

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Goals

Obtaining the Master Sword

You’ve spent hours in the Lost Woods, fighting off enemies and solving mind-rattling puzzles. You’ve searched every corner and under every bush for clues that will lead you to your goal. You’ve proven yourself to be a hero of great strength, courage, and wisdom. Finally, it stands before you: The Master Sword.

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If you’ve played any of the Legend of Zelda games, you’ll know what I’m talking about. As the only weapon capable of defeating the evil villain Ganon (usually), obtaining the Master Sword is a requisite step towards saving the kingdom. The quest to get the sword is usually quite the journey unto itself and finally finding it can be incredibly fulfilling. We go into the woods, defeat our enemies, and get our prize. Game over!

Except, it isn’t.

We still have to take that magical sword, fight our way to the big bad guy, defeat the villain, rescue the princess, and save the kingdom.

Life can be kind of like this sometimes.

I spent years of working, schooling, proposing, volunteering, dreaming, and pining for a new job. I applied all over the place, tried to create my own work, and tried to convince the church that they should hire me.

And eventually, they did.

And it felt just like pulling the Master Sword from its resting place deep within the Lost Woods. I had proven myself and been judged worthy. I had completed my quest. It was all over.

Except, it isn’t.

This new job isn’t the end. It isn’t the beginning, either. It’s another step on a lifelong mission to shine light where it’s most needed, to push back the forces of darkness, and to see the Kingdom move forward. It frees me and gives me better tools to continue on the quest I was already on.

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My point is that we all have these moments. We all have little quests that can become so consuming that they threaten to overshadow our main quest. While it isn’t a bad thing to throw yourself into whatever step you find yourself on, we can’t lose sight of our end goals. If we do, we risk either losing track of what we’re actually fighting for, or falling into despair if we fail to achieve a small step along the way, or making sacrifices to win a battle that ultimately cost us the war.

So this week, take some time to think about the big things in your life. What are you living for, beyond your next paycheque or vacation or artistic project? What is your purpose, and how are the small goals helping you to achieve that purpose?

Remember, the Master Sword helps you defeat the villain. It’s not a trophy for a job well done.

Blessings

2016 – The Year of the Writer

Well, folks, it’s that time of year. The time we all sit down and think about how different we would like to be. How much fitter, kinder, and more productive. How we’re going to be at the gym all the time and eat kale and take that dance/art/photography course we’ve been looking at but never really had the time.

It’s the time for New Year’s Resolutions!

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to http://www.statisticbrain.com, 62% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The top resolutions include losing weight, getting organized, and spending less/saving more. (As an aside, my favourite from their top ten list is ‘fall in love.’ I don’t ever remember having that on my to-do list, but apparently it’s a popular one…)

Unfortunately, only about 8% of people actually follow through with their resolutions. It seems that commitment to self-improvement only lasts so long in the face of chocolate, Netflix, and a very comfy couch.

This has become almost a running joke with New Year’s Resolutions. The question stops being ‘Did you keep your resolutions?’ and starts being ‘How long did you keep your resolutions?’

This can be pretty disheartening for those of us who want to use the turning of the years as a jumping off point for making a few changes in our lives.

So, for me, I’ve decided to set some goals. Not resolutions, per se, but things that I want to get done this year and new habits I want to form. Most of these fall into two categories: writing and health.

Writing

I’ve been really leaning into my writing over the past few months. Between the blog, short stories, my novel, and church dramas, I’ve written a healthy number of words. But this year, I want to finish a few of my projects and develop writing habits that will help me build my skills and dedication to the craft. So, my goals for 2016 include:

Finishing my novel
Finishing two short stories
Writing a first draft of a graphic novel
Write and produce at least one radio play
Write at least 500 words a day, 6 days a week

Health

It’s quite the cliche, but I also have health goals for this year. After a season of feasting and indulging in all sorts of holiday goodies, my family has decided to focus on healthier options for this year. Rather than going cold turkey on most of our less-healthy options, we are going to try replacing them slowly with healthier choices. We then want to add some exercise into our daily routines and drink green tea every morning and our full 8 cups of water a day. Hopefully this will help us build up strong, healthy bodies that are able to serve God and create art for many years to come.

To help with all of these goals, I’ve searched out a little help. I received a Fitbit for Christmas that will help with getting me up and moving each day and will monitor my water intake. For my daily habits, I’m using the app Habitica, which turns your life into a bit of a game, rewarding you for keeping your habits and punishing you for breaking them.

What about you? Are you looking to improve yourself physically, artistically, or spiritually this year? If so, what sort of things are you doing to ensure that you don’t fall back into old habits?

In 2016, let’s all push ourselves a little to be better artists, better people, and better faith-filled worshipers.

Blessings,

 

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