I believe this earth is just one big battlefield for good and evil.
I believe that every one of us, whether we want to be or not, is part of the battle, and that during our short time on this earth we each do three very important things:
- Chose a side
- Find our role in the war
- Help equip others to do the same
All roles in warfare are vital. We need soldiers on the front lines to shield us from the fire, factory workers to produce equipment, scientists to develop tactics and technology, doctors and nurses to keep us in fighting shape, listeners to keep us sane, and teachers; oh boy, do we need good teachers to prepare our children for the fight ahead and teach them to seek truth.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been an editor with an Intelligence organization. I serve with a fine group of warriors who stand at the edge of darkness, peering into the vast unknown for signs of the enemy. After they’ve sifted through evidence, trends, and potential implications, I help them articulate their findings effectively. It’s a good job. I’ve learned a lot about the world, made many friends, and enjoyed a steady paycheck. If I stick with it three more years, I’ll qualify for some good benefits for my retirement years.
Two years ago, I participated in a leadership training course that included an exercise designed to help us identify our strengths and passions and figure out what to do with them. After culling through a lengthy list of phrases beginning with the words, “I most like to ____,” we each created lists of 40 possibilities, then culled that to 20, then 10, then 4, then circled the one that we thought best captured who we are. We posted our discoveries on the walls around us, and I read with awe the passions of my coworkers:
- “I most like leading a team.”
- “I most like solving difficult problems.”
- “I most like to collaborate on tough assignments.”
These were some focused individuals; I could see the Intelligence field was a perfect fit for them.
I, on the other hand, culled my list down to, “I most like to create art and beauty.” Hardly a warrior’s creedo.
Over the past two years since that course, I’ve been mulling my discovery; there’s no place on the battlefield for art and beauty, I thought. But lately, I’m not so sure. Perhaps that’s exactly what the world needs more of. Still, I cannot shake the notion that, although I am good at what I do in the Intelligence arena, I don’t belong there. My battle is elsewhere.
My role, I think, is to fight evil with light; to help those who may know which side to fight for, but have yet to make a formal pledge. I think I’m also supposed to encourage those who are fighting in the darkest corners and who think evil might be gaining the advantage. We can’t lose, of course, because the battle has already been won, but sometimes it can feel like we’re losing.Where there is light, there is hope. When I pick up a pen, light emerges through art and beauty.
That is why I made my decision; I’ve given notice at my work that as of January 24, I will no longer be an editor serving the U.S. government. On that day I will become an ordinary writer, serving in the Army of God. The pay will be horrible, particularly at the start, but I know the Lord will provide for our needs.
My first order of business, of course, will be to finish writing Joe’s story. He’s been more than a little patient with me since last summer, and I hope he will find the story worth the wait.
After that? Who knows? The Portrait Writer will be open for business; after that, anything can happen.
“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.” 1 John 1:5