Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another Picasso perhaps, if I'd only studied....

Met a new friend yesterday who is a local art teacher. I immediately felt a slight sense of intimidation due simply to the fact that I love artistic expression, but feel incompetent myself to produce anything of artistic quality. After somehow putting that into words to her, she simply said, "I disagree."

Basically what she then told me was that so much of art is learned. Whether you draw, paint, sculpt clay or whatever, you can learn to express yourself better and do a better job at it. If you were to take a group of adults who have not taken any lessons and had them draw, paint, or sculpt, their work would be comparable to children's work. But if those same adults had studied art the same way they had continued in youth to study math, english and science, their artistic expression would be much more advanced. So, she said, "Go, take a class in whatever medium you like and get started."

To me, she definitely made a great case for adequately funding the art program in our local schools! (Which in most school districts is woeful.) But she also made a great case for Christian education in the church.

If you were to take a group of Christian adults who haven't studied the Bible or aspects of the faith since childhood, their spiritual concepts and expressions would likely be comparable to children's. But if those same adults had continued to learn as disciples, the same way they'd continued to learn in other important areas of their lives, imagine the spiritual maturity that could be present in our congregations.

So, if you've ever said, "I can't pray like others," or "I know so little about the Bible it's embarassing," or "I wish I knew what to say to people when they are grieving or struggling," go, get involved in a study group and in the church, and get started.

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