One of the most depressing times of all the visits we have had to Disney World was the week before Christmas. People seemed worried and tense…at Disney!
Much of it has to do with some awful events we have heard about lately, the economy, and of course the pressure of Christmas buying and expectations. In general, we are just left to wonder what in the world is God up to.
You are using your gifts (or trying to), and there just doesn't seem to be any use. No matter how much you work, spend, or try, it seems God just isn't opening any doors or wanting this to be successful.
This is true for us here in Nashville as much as it is for you out there across the country and the world. I've had seasoned, award-winning folks come to me in recent years and say, "What the heck! What is going on?"
We've all been under serious attack folks. I've already written about this before, and its back with a vengeance at the holidays.
I read a great devotion in a little book my wife gave me called "God's Daily Answer". I thought I'd share it to see if it gives you a little insight as it did me.
The verse was 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
When we go through these hard times, we wonder why God allows it. Only He knows why. But He is ALWAYS there for you. And you can lean on Him.
It is very important that we don't forget that people are watching us, and how we deal with these tough times. What are we leaning on?
Our example shows them where to turn when they come up against difficulties in their own lives, especially those of us that are on stage or celebrated in some way because of our gifts. Like it or not, we are leaders. People see and hear our ministries because we have put ourselves in the position of sharing our talents with them.
All this you are going through will NOT be vain, if you are able to lead others into the arms of grace and love of the Lord.
"God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters." - John Henry Jowett
As far as the struggle and the fight, I suggest you do what I always do. Maybe after the last day of working before the holidays is over, and you can leave work behind for a few days, and Christmas musicals are over, just stay home and enjoy the real meaning of Christmas with your family.
Forget about money, the stress of trying to make this art thing make money, the things you DIDN'T get done this year in your goals, and the monumental task you feel you have to keep growing it. Instead, play a game. Watch movies with your family. Have quiet time with a beverage of choice. Create something new that feels good to you, not worrying if it will be commercially successful.
But mainly, let your mind have a free break from the pressure of normal life as a worker and artist. Come into the New Year with new vigor and excitement. And above all, let others see the light in your creative soul, so they can know a way to find their way out of their own tough times.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.
Eric Copeland is a happy little elf who brings presents to all the children of the wo-, oh wait, sorry. That's not right. Eric is lead producer, and president of Creative Soul in Nashville, but does bring joy to many all through the year (especially good little Christian artists and songwriters). Check out the web site for more info at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com