Have you ever fallen in love? Fallen in love to the extent that you can’t sleep because your reality is better than your dreams? Falling in love turns our physical experience into something spiritual.
I have fallen in and out of love with people, places, and even God but the one thing I have always loved was art. I think that is because I have always been able to express my authentic self through painting. Painting connects me to the deepest level of my being. Painting allows me to transcend my physical reality, and explore the depths of my soul where the Holy Spirit resides in us. God gave his children the gift of his son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit so that we may know the glory of God at an intimate level. I find that for me painting helps me get in a place where I am receptive.
I view art as a channel to connect us to a higher level of our being. Art just like love creates this relationship between the creator and the viewer. This relationship transcends physical reality, and opens the door of exploration.
A few years ago, I made the momentary decision to be an atheist. This decision was not made overnight. I spent most of my high school years deconstructing my faith, and eventually when I moved back to Tennessee from Yellowstone my Christian beliefs were no longer ones I held. When I decided to be an atheist, I dealt with the heartbreak of letting go of the idea that there is a God out there who loved me since I was in my mothers womb. When I was an atheist I let go of my beliefs that there was a God who spoke intimately to my heart. I couldn’t bring myself to believe in a loving God. I had let go of my spiritual ideals, and I believed in things only my physical self could explain.
Beauty, love and God
What brought me out of atheism was art. In the midst of my atheistic phase, I could sense God’s voice speaking to me; to my heart. God used the artistic gifts and abilities of others to bring me back to him. Witnessing the passionate emotion behind each artist that I came in contact with led me to believe that there was more to us than just flesh and bones. There is a creative, loving, and dynamic spirit in all of us that carries us through this life, and goes on with us to the next.
It is now impossible for me to not believe in a God who gives us all such unique beauty and talents. This world is so intricately made that there must be an artist behind it all, behind you and me.
I used to think that those who believed in God were believing in fairy tales. But now I believe that those who do not are missing out on knowing a God who loves them. A God who loves them as they are. A God who knows their heart. A God who wants to give them love that will transcend them from their reality.
I have noticed that I NEED time to connect with God. I NEED time to paint, to let go of reality, and to let God reside in my heart, just the two of us. This is a practice that makes me feel spiritually alive. This practice allows God to flow through me, and commune with me in the present moment. This is a practice that I need to spend more time on.
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about what makes your spirit come alive. When the weeks are busy and I get caught up in the day to day, I become disgruntled and disconnected from who I truly am. The time I spend painting with God brings me peace. It aligns me back to my true identity.
As a modern western culture, I think that we have forgotten that we are spiritual beings. We have souls. We have a purpose, and we are loved by the creator of the universe. What would our world look like if we were reminded of that?
How would your life be different if you spent time communing with God through a loving practice on a daily basis?
Madison Myers is a student at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in marketing. She has traveled to a majority of America's National Parks and is eager to see them all.