What gets you up in the morning…

by Geoff Hall on September 30, 2015

September 2015 – What gets you up in the morning…

Mentoring in Word, Image and Performance Art.

Mentoring in Word, Image and Performance Art.

Living your life as an artist will invariably lead you to thoughts of calling it a day. How long can you go on in the face of scepticism from family, friends and those (apparently) with ‘spiritual authority’? How long can you keep the flame of creativity burning when your spiritual community doesn’t ‘get it’ and can’t support you?


When confronted with the kindergarten spirituality of the institutional church today, we find a God who strangely thinks exactly the same way we do; about ourselves, our work, our loves and needs for gratification, but this doesn’t prepare us for the big world outside of Church.


William Blake's 'Illustrations from the Book of Job. (1826)

William Blake’s ‘Illustrations from the Book of Job. (1826)

In the face of having three stalled projects on my list of achievements, I am not confronted with a God who shows smiley faced love, but more of what Job called ‘the watcher of men’. He wasn’t believing that God was absent, but more that God didn’t act to save his family, or his health. (In fact he thought God’s presence was oppressive!) And whilst his friends told him he was obviously hiding some dreadful sin and that if he repented, his fortune would be restored, Job wasn’t after that. He just wanted to hear from God.


There is no answer it seems, for why an omnipotent God doesn’t act, but then out of the blue, invests money in what can only be considered poor taste in music and art. Why our gifts are given but remain foetal, unborn in this world despite our greatest endeavours to take our them seriously, is a mystery.


But Paul of Tarsus may help us here. A while back he wrote a letter to a bunch of people in the very ancient city of Philippi. The city was established by Philip II, king of Macedon so that he could take control of the neighbouring gold mines and establish a garrison at a strategic passage between Amphipolis and Neapolis. Paul, being a bit of a philosopher, ‘penned’ a little autobiographical information about his situation and future aims. He may even be able to encourage us today and help this nagging ‘why?’ question.


“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means I may obtain to the resurrection from the dead.”


So, I woke up this morning having spoken to a good friend (and let fly a little) and decided that if my current situation may be more akin to Paul’s death wish(!) then I can trust that the resurrection bit will eventually be part of my artistic experience.


If I am to be like the lover of my soul, then both of these ‘life in extremis’ elements are also to be a part of me. If it wasn’t unusual for Jesus,, then I must follow.


This means that if all else fails, and it is at the moment, then I will do what I’m called to do…and write. I will complete my second novel and the first draft of the next feature length film. I will not succumb to the dark night of the soul, nor those dark morning variations, when all I want to do is stay in bed and pull my head under the covers.


I will write. I will fulfil my calling and will trust that ‘sharing in His sufferings’ is not the low-budget, package tour deal of life. I will not give up on my calling, because a calling is not just about what you do, but about who you are.

Any thoughts?

Be Well.


William Blake, Illustrations from The Book of Job. (1826)

William Blake, Illustrations from The Book of Job. (1826)

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