From the Book
You were born to make art. But that’s not all.
It is also my intention to walk with you as you begin to release your art into the world, for the glory of God and the benefit of others.
Because you were also made to live art.
It’s time to rescue our beautiful design from the dark grip of doubt and discouragement.
It’s time to remember the Spirit of power and love and a sound mind who lives within us.
It’s time to live as though we believe we have something to offer.
It’s time to release our authentic selves into the world.
Because it isn’t only the painters who are allowed to be expressive, it isn’t only the musicians who can touch our souls, it isn’t only the novelists who can inspire us to dream.
He does not manage us, to-do list us, or bullet-point us. He loves us. Is with us. And believing him feels important, until we do, like a miracle, like lukewarm water turning merlot red right there in the cup. And hope sprouts new, because God doesn’t give us a list. He invites us into the story.
<A Million Little Ways> p17
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p37-38
From the Book
Perhaps those who make art in the ways we traditionally think of art give the rest of us a framework from which to live our lives. They offer a gift of knowing what life could look like if it were handled more like a mysterious piece of art rather than a task-oriented list. We may not all have the same skill or training as do the painters or the musicians, but we all bear the image of a creative God.
In coming up with a working definition of an artist for the purposes of this book, perhaps we could say, then, that being an artist has something to do with being brave enough to move toward what makes you come alive.
Art means believing that the God who created the world with words alone creates with words still, through us—whether it be on a stage to thousands or in a corner with one.
Maybe you make paintings, or maybe you make pie.
Maybe you live confidently in the midst of scary situations.
Maybe you are brave enough to listen, to wait, to trust.
Maybe you see potential in situations and in people that others aren’t able to see.
Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.
When we live free, we are able to give freedom. When we live loved, we are able to give love. When we are secure, we are able to offer security. God reveals himself through every artist, and the artis is you.
The question isn’t who is the artist? The question becomes who are you?
<A Million Little Ways> p20-21
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p42-43
From the Book
Every good story begins with the story already happening. So when God said, “In the beginning,” we know that wasn’t the beginning of God. It was the beginning of us. It seems important, then, to consider how he decided to begin the story he’s telling.
In the beginning, God made art. His art marks the foundation of everything we know. The kind of art God makes is not an afterthought or a weekend hobby he does on the side.
God’s art is the starting point for the story of the world.
He spoke the world into being and there was light and dark and elephants and rivers and dirt that I wash from my son’s fingernails. He sopke, and grass came out. He whispered lillies, camels, honeysuckle, and sand. Mountains were shaped by the timbre of his voice, and valleys swooped down low when he finished his sentence.
The first thing we know about God is he made art.
What is the first thing we know about people?
We were made in the image of God.
<A Million Little Ways> p22-23
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p44-45
From the Book
The Father, sovereign and holy; the Son, creator and redeemer; the Holy Spirit, comforter and indweller—this three-in-one God made man and woman to be like him, to reflect his image, to have a community relationship that mirrored the relationship of the Trinity, to declare his glory.
All God’s work was good.
But man and woman are the very good of creation.
Genesis 1:26 begins with God creating man and woman in his image and it ends with God giving them a job to do. The kind of creating God does is the kind only God can do. But he invited human beings to join him as co-creators. Not as equals with him, but as image bearers of him, to carry his image into the world.
“Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground’” (Gen. 1:28). They were made to be image bearers first and to do their good work out of ther image-bearing identity.
But their understanding of their image-bearing identity came into question when Eve talked with the serpent and Adam stood silently by. The enemy challenged their identity. Bearing God’s image no longer seemed to be enough. They wanted to be an exact representation. They didn’t just want to reflect glory, they wanted to have glory of their own.
<A Million Little Ways> p24
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p46-47
From the Book
In Geneis, God made us as image bearers with a job to do.
Now, look at Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
In Ephesians 2, we are a masterpiece made to do good things.
Sounds similar to Genesis 1, where God made man and woman as image bearers with a job to do.
So What does it matter?
These English words used in the text—masterpiece, sometimes translated *workmanship—*these are translations of the original word used in the letter to the church at Ephesus, the Greek word poiema. Our English word poem comes from this same Greek word. Workmanship, masterpiece, poem—all these words in Scripture are used to describe God’s work—you and me.
God calls you his workmanship, his poema. What happens when God writes poetry?
We do. We happen.
We are walking poetry, the kind that moves, the kind who has hands and feet, the kind with mind and will and emotion. We are what happens when God expresses himself.
<A Million Little Ways> p25
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p48
From the Book
But things are not as they should be. We’re desperately afraid of desire, terrified that if we consider for too long what we most deeply want, we will be confused about which desires come from us, which ones come from God, and how to tell the difference. We live in a fallen world with fallen people in a dirty mess. We are fallen image bearers, feeling guilty for things we ought to embrace and embracing the things that ought to bring guilt.
We may be displeased with the ways he wants to reveal his glory through us because they don’t look like the ways he reveals his glory through others. We’re uncomfortable with the implications and become confused about our own desire.
We are colanders filled with glory-water. Our best efforts are spent trying to cover the seeping holes with not enough fingers. God’s glory demands display. Yet sometimes when we get a glimpse of it, when we taste something we come alive doing, when we feel that sense of purpose wake up within us, we become terrified. And so instead, we spend our time looking for plastic bags to catch it before it pours out, wasted.
We want to be something more sensible, more practical. Something like a jar with a lid. No holes. No glory leaks.
Let’s control it, contain it. Let’s be reasonable.
In this action, we have forgotten who we are.
<A Million Little Ways> p28
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p51-52
From the Book
Being his workmanship doesn’t mean we are all poets. It means we are all poems, individuals created works of a creative God. And this poetry comes out uniquely through us as we worship, think, love, pray, rest, work, and exist.
Jesus reminds us we are art and empowers us to make art.
There isn’t only one right way to do the job of glorifying God. There are many ways, a million little ways, that Christ is formed in us and spills out of us into the world.
Knowing you are a poem doesn’t confine you to be artsy, it releases you to be you. We are art, every one of us. No matter our personality, skill, talent, or inclinations. The essence of being human is that we were made by design with the hands of the Divine Artist.
Christ came to reestablish our identity, showing us what it means to be fully alive as a human—how to live on earth as we were intended to live—a life of complete dependence on the Father. He lived as an exact representation of his Father as he fulfilled the law, saved the world, made wine in water pots and blind men see. He lived as a son, a brother, a friend, a teacher, a carpenter, and a savior.
<A Million Little Ways> p29
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p53-54
From the Book
He took walks and spoke with prostitutes and told stories.
He did all of this in the energy and by the leading of his father.
But he didn’t do all of that so we would have an image to copy. He sent his Spirit to live within us to empower us to be fully alive ourselves. He continues to do all of those things now *through us—*the will of the Father, the sacrifice of the Son, the energy of the Spirit—the creation work of the Trinity never stops. God is on the move.
But he is not invisible. As long as there are people on earth, the world will have glimpses of God. He chooses us to move through. He chooses your personality, your spunk, your passion, your strengths, and your weaknesses to work in and through and with.
Christ still moves around in the world through the filter of your you-ness.
<A Million Little Ways> p29, 30
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p54-55
From the Book
But this train exists and runs and it does so because train-makers make it their job to make and fix the trains. A broken down train can’t sit there for long in the presence of the train-maker. His job is to make the train work, to run well, to reach its full potential.
His job is to reveal the full glory of the train.
Isn’t that what artists do? They struggle and labor to express the full glory of what they want to say, how they see the world, the beauty that lives in their head? They do the work of getting it out of their head and sharing it with us.
What full glory does my life labor to reveal?
What does it look like to embrace the truth of our image-bearing identity and live into the job we’ve been given to do? Does that look different for you than it does for me? How?
I don’t harbor lofty notions of expertise, as I’m not convinced there is such a thing in deep matters of the soul and spirit. But I hope to prove myself a worthy companion, an intuitive observer of the art of God. Still, there is one thing I know for sure: I know you are an image bearer with a job to do. And the simplest description I can come up with for what that means is this: You are art and you make art.
<A Million Little Ways> p32-33
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p58-59
From the Book
Here’s a question you might be asking: What if I do the work of uncovering and it turns out there isn’t anything within me worth offering?
Translation: What if I look inside and discover I’m a hot mess?
Can I go ahead and answer that for you? You are. You are a mess. You are and I am and everyone else is too. Some of us do a better job at hiding it than others, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Uncovering your art does not mean you will find only rainbows and sunshine to pour out on everyone around you. Uncovering your art is about uncovering what is really there within you, coming face-to-face with your profound capacity for beauty as well as sin, your deepest dreams and your longing for God.
You are capable of glory-grasping and it might get ugly.
But you are designed to reflect the glory of God, and when you release the fullness of who you most deeply are, we will see God because we’re finally seeing you.
Uncovering your art is about waking up.
Being a mess doesn’t disqualify you from having an influence. And it doesn’t make you any less of a poem.
So instead of asking, What if there isn’t anything in me worth offering? let’s ask this insead: What if there is?
<A Million Little Ways> p36
<나를 일으키는 백만 가지 방법> p62-63