November 12, 2007 Ration

Ecclesiastes 12:10

“The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write the words of truth correctly.”

Artist, what do you seek when you ponder themes for your artistry? Do you ponder weighty themes of truth, or do you wander sugarly in a prolonged youth? Do you seek to find delightful words? Does the finding of them produce a knowledge that puffs up, or a greater palate for the enjoyment of what is truly delightful? Let’s see what we can learn from the Preacher and apply towards our artistic labors.

The Preacher sought. There is a focused expenditure of energy in the word "sought" that exceeds the energy spent when idling. Your car does expend energy while it idles at the curb. The radio will even play, the electric seats adjust, the lights will shine, the air-conditioning cools. In park, you can even flex your muscle by revving the engine. All this comfort, pleasure and action can be known without ever setting out into moving traffic. You can talk big at the curb. But if you do not expend the energy it takes to leave the lot, how will you ever find anything? The Preacher sought that he might find.

The Preacher sought to find delightful words. What do you seek to find, artist? What is delightful to you? Are enjoying your comforts, being heard or seen, being spotless and beautiful, proclaiming what you know or are able to do, are these the extent of what you find delightful? Be careful, you are probably only idling. Get out on the road and seek to find something delightful outside of yourself. Seeking to find delights implies that there are delights that you do not yet know, or yet know in full. In your artistry, do you find the paths of your delights to always end at the observance of you? If so, you haven’t left the curb, you've brought it with you. Leave behind the curbs of self-esteem against which you park at night and pull up along side some gravel road that is off the map. Get out and gaze into the night sky until the sun rises and see if your vocabulary of delights doesn’t expand beyond, “thank you very much.”

The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write the words of truth correctly. Once he found the words of truth, he had to rearticulate them. He had to write them! They were so delightful that he took great care to carefully and correctly represent them. Artist, you won’t be confined to “big and blue and me and you” anymore after a full night spent under the stars rather than under the roof of your car. Elementary rhymes will be so inadequate as you try to articulate the fresh, soul-stirring delights you enjoyed while captivated and humbled by the vast glory of the heavens, the creation of God.

Artist, where you have newly seen and delighted in truth, labor to write it correctly! This is your charge. This is what you have been given skills towards. So like the Preacher, seek for truth, and seek to know it in full. Take enjoyment in the truths of God. For without enjoyment in the truth, it is impossible to correctly write of it.

Jason Harms


© 2007 The Gaius Project