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by Alexus Jones
It’s been a bit of time, hasn’t it? I have missed writing to my fellow churchgoers over the summer, and though my keyboard has gotten a bit of a rest, God certainly has not been at rest during the past few months. If you’ve read my previous contributions to this lovely little blog, then you’ll know that busy-ness and I are no strangers to each other. These days, my calendar has been packed with two jobs, two youth groups, two (soon to be three) worship bands, three music projects (two bands and a solo project, all of which are in various stages of recording), a volunteer position backstage at Immanuel, co-managing an event for iMPACT, senior year of high school and all of the other joys and sorrows of being a part of the awkward time period we call “the teenage years.”
As difficult as this has all become, I must admit that I actually feel quite invigorated with the challenge of my everyday life. There is something wonderful about living in the eye of a hurricane. As complexity threatens to overcome my existence, I have been given the privilege to view the world through a different lens—one of simplicity. As things have begun to swirl out of my control, I have been forced to remind myself of my basic necessities, some of which I had never realized before now. Without a doubt, life has gotten hard, but the things that I have learned through this interesting journey have been absolutely priceless.
As a lover and writer of music, I have never quite understood the concept of the grandmotherly phrase, “Silence is golden.” No. Silence is boring. Silence is plain. Silence is awkward. Silence is nothing but a blank canvas. It was not until recent days that I discovered my desire for a universal mute button on life. Everything has become noise. School is noise. Work is noise. Church is noise. Music (obviously) is noise.
I imagine that my life sounds the way that Jackson Pollock’s painting “No. 5” appears.
And so, in an attempt to make sense of the smears, splatters and splotches, I use a wonderful method that my band director (concert band being another activity that I forgot to include in my previous laundry list) likes to call “compartmentalization.” This is the process by which a person takes a subject that is seemingly too complex for comprehension (in this situation, my entire existence) and breaks it up into less complicated pieces (days, hours and sometimes even minutes). This process is usually fairly successful, allowing for a less overwhelming view on life, but it also allows for the opportunity to get caught up in the little—usually insignificant—facets of day-to-day living.
In art, details have the ability to make or break a piece. However, the amount of time spent on these details must be chosen wisely. There are many works of art that require more time than an artist’s life can allow, resulting in unfinished pieces that can never be cherished to their full potential—pieces that are essentially worthless, or at the very least, extremely undervalued. Then, there are pieces like Pollock’s aforementioned “No. 5.” I imagine that the amount of effort put into this piece’s detail work is equally reflected in the amount of work put into the creativity of its name.
Now, I want you to guess how much money was spent purchasing this painting.
Actually, no, I don’t want you to guess. I’ll just tell you. It was more than $140 million.
Now, assuming that the purchaser of this lovely smattering of goo wasn’t blind—though, that’s very possible—one could assume that this person probably had some sentimental investment in this painting. I also imagine that they had some major plans in mind. I would think that $140 million wouldn’t be something that anyone would fling around willy-nilly. Now, even though I see a piece of art that could have been pulled off equally as artfully by a rabid squirrel, this strange mixture of chaos and mess was very important to someone. It reminds that even when our lives feels like a strange mixture of chaos and mess, there is someone that paid a lot more that $140 million for you. In fact, He paid with His life. Regardless of how worthless you may feel, nothing is defined by what most people will not pay for it, but by what one person will sacrifice for it.
More often than not, we need to look at the big picture. Sometimes, we need to stop and take a second to reflect. The brilliance of life is revealed in reflection. And so, I invite you to take a moment this week. God has taken you through a set of circumstances completely unique to you. You are living out a beautifully crafted story every day. Consider where you began, and thank God for where He’s brought you. I pray that God will allow you to see your journey through His eyes.
God bless you.
Alexus Jones is a senior at Lakes Community High School. She plays in the high school youth group worship band and works backstage on Sunday mornings at Immanuel Church. She is a singer/songwriter who desires to glorify God with the abilities that He’s entrusted to her.