Most of the scripts I write for Journey Box Media are just as much for me personally as they are for the church community, if not more.
Our latest project, RESTORE, is a four-part reflection on the health of one’s soul. Each mini-movie deals with a specific discipline that many people have a hard time with. This struggle may be rooted in our society or our upbringing. I tend to think it’s rooted in our humanity.
These four disciplines—rest, reflection, celebration, and gratitude—seem anti-productive. Perhaps that is why they are so seldom exercised; they don’t create any immediate, tangible product. I am very much into immediate, tangible products.
For the visuals of RESTORE, we wanted to show the tension in these disciplines in an abstract way. We decided the actions, more than the people, should be the character. So in REST, the tension of constantly working and pushing is the focus. In REFLECTION, the speed and pace are the main character. In CELEBRATION, it is the disconnect, the lack of presence. In GRATITUDE, it is the destruction of beauty.
The script is more of a prayer for my own soul, a lament on my own condition, and the acknowledgement that my current way of living is rather void of life.
From REST – all rests, it seems, on the shoulders of men who can control nothing.
I have been working a lot lately. A lot. Since launching Journey Box Media I have been busier than I ever imagined. It’s all been in the name of providing for my family, but at what cost? If I am honest with myself, my excessive hours spent working on projects or websites have a good bit to say about how much I trust God (or how much I don’t). Do I really believe He will provide, or do I think I have to make it happen on my own?
Feeling guilty about taking some time off, even 15 minutes, to rest my body, mind, and soul, is a strong sign I am not trusting God.
From REFLECTION – to slow the pace, to still the mind.
When I lie down to sleep, I often cannot sleep. I am thinking of the next project, of my to-do list. The same can be true of when I play with my kids or am on a lunch date with my wife. The tough thing about stilling the mind is that it takes effort. To rest your body only requires you to stop moving, but to still the mind requires control and focus.
How often do I see God in the world? Or hear his voice when my children laugh?
From CELEBRATION – in the pursuit of success, many have overlooked victories.
I love celebrating the victories of my family and friends, but I have a hard time celebrating my own victories. When I reach one milestone, I look straight ahead for the next one. This may be a good thing for a business, but it’s terrible for my soul. When I don’t allow myself to celebrate even the smallest victories, I forget what’s important. Instead of seeing people as my purpose, they become an obstacle in the way of my goals.
It’s rather humbling when your kids remind you of what’s important. This happens quite often.
From GRATITUDE – how quickly our deepest requests, once granted, are absorbed into routine.
I am amazed, and saddened, by how quickly I can take things for granted. God gives some amazing gifts: love, sunsets, smiles, a gentle breeze, music, taste. How often do I give Him credit for these things? It is much easier to reserve worship for Sunday mornings and concerts. Living gratefully takes effort and humility, and I tend to frown on those two things in my life.
I hate it when others take me for granted; yet I do it to others without a second thought.
And that is what this project has pushed me toward: gratefulness. Allowing my body to rest, my mind to slow, my small victories to be celebrated, and my blessings to be acknowledged. To see the rose, hear the song, and live life to the fullest.
I suspect that if you work in the creative realm, you have many of the same struggles. My hope is that you and your community will use the RESTORE series to initiate the conversation and begin the journey toward a healthier soul. (It’s going to take your whole life).