I’m very close to getting back into writing, or drawing…or both! I feel God pulling me in that direction. I tried to start on it at the beginning of this year, but this year turned into one very chaotic mess. Life works like that at times. While I am working full time, exercising, trying to be a good husband and working to be social with others (something I am convinced is important), it can be very difficult (if not impossible) to stay focused on a task. Yet, every month or so, as I’m telling a story or running one of my imagination driven games, someone says, “Phil, you should write a book!”
I don’t know if I could ever write a traditional novel. That takes a lot of talent and discipline to do properly. However, I do like writing comics, stories, etc.
Anyone who knows me knows that, as far as Christians go, I’m pretty anti-tradition. My opinion almost always runs contrary to others, especially regarding certain attitudes towards entertainment. When I created Wildlight and showed it to others in the church I was attending, a lot of people didn’t like it. One lady in particular vocally expressed her displeasure of my work. “She (Wildlight) looks so angry! That’s not Christian!”
That was the point. Tammy, aka Wildlight, had issues. She wasn’t perfect. Therefore, in some of the pics I drew, she didn’t look like a perfect little Christian. I played D&D when Christians were told to avoid it like the plague in the 80’s. I enjoyed video games with non-Christians in the 90’s while some pastors wailed against them. In the 2000’s, I completed nearly six dozen Wildlight comics that earned both praise and scorn from other Christians regarding my approach to the character. In the years of this decade, I joined a number of secular groups as a volunteer while my other Christian brothers and sisters worked harder to volunteer mostly for their church or other Christian organizations.
There’s nothing wrong with the more traditional approach in and of itself. Staying away from forms of entertainment one feels convicted about, volunteering through the church, etc., can be wonderful blessings and ways to express a love and devotion to Christ. However, for some, these become traditions or, worse, expectations. Because my approach tends to run contrary to these more traditional deals, I can speak from experience when I say that, at times, I have been looked down upon those in the body because of this.
It is a shame, really. After all, Jesus approach at the time was hardly traditional. His first miracle in the book of John was to turn water to wine for a wedding party, of all things. He taught people through story telling (one of the best forms of entertainment at the time) and he did so in some very non-traditional settings. He constantly challenged the religious leaders of the time, and often, they were the ones he was most upset with.
Christians are blessed with this opportunity to use their time and talents to praise and glorify God. Remember, like Jesus, you may do so via some very non-traditional means. I believe that this fact is something that really sets Christianity apart. In other religions, “divine art/music” is very much controlled by the religion or church organization. Even some Chrsitian churches seem to regulate worship of God to old hymns played only with pipe organ music. The Bible says to “Praise the LORD with a new song.” We are free to praise God in new and radical ways. How will you praise Him?