Deconstruction

26 10 2012

Today I drove to the beach. But it wasn’t one of those lay in the sun and enjoy the palm trees kind of trip. Today was I day I wanted to beat my chest and cry out to God. To drive my knuckles into the sand and say “WHAT IS GOING ON??”

I am in the process of Deconstruction. At least that’s what one of my professors told me in his office yesterday as I went to go discuss plans for my final project. And you know what? I think he’s right.

Many people that have been to seminary have told me that this would happen. I just didn’t think it would happen this early or in this way. My beliefs are being challenged and stretched in so many ways. In my church history class we learned about monks in the 11th and 12th century who changed history. And now we’re learning about Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. Regardless of how you feel about God or Christianity, it’s pretty remarkable how one man and a printing press could completely alter a broken system and change how people think. It makes me think about my own life and my place in human history…

But that’s not the area where I’m being deconstructed.

I’m being deconstructed as an artist. Being here has made me realize how much pressure I have put on myself within the last 3-4 years to be the artist that other people wanted me to be. I have tried to fit my voice into boxes. There is the Christian filmmaker box that nobody wants to be in because it puts you in the same category with cheesy, poor quality films that say they’re reaching the world when they’re really only reaching other Christians who still haven’t discovered the joy of “secular” movies. Then there is the filmmaker who is a Christian box that most people want to be in because they can do whatever they want and keep their faith under wraps unless asked.

Deep down inside, I never wanted to hide the fact that I’m a Christian. I wanted to be the one who could make good movies and still call herself a Christian in public.

I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker one month after becoming a Christian. At that time I saw film as a way of sending messages to people. But most times the messages in my films were for people of the church. And I was aware of this. I never really intended my films to be for the wide masses. They were always meant to be a wake up call for the church. Film was a way for me to tell my brothers and sisters in Christ that we need a new Reformation! We need to change our ways of thinking! As a result, my films often ended up being too scandalous for Christians and too Christian for non-Christians, leaving me somewhere in the middle.

I’m coming to realize that my theology has changed quite a bit in the last 6-7 years. I’ve learned to stop judging and start loving and feeling and gaining understanding about things. My viewpoints have changed in many ways and so if I still want to preach to the church, my message is going to look a lot different. But now I don’t even know if I want to or should be speaking to the church. What if I just wanted to speak truth? Period. What would be so wrong with that?

I have friends who are in the film industry or looking to be part of the film industry and some of them see making films for Christians as a curse. But what if Christian films weren’t cheesy? What if they were real and honest? What if I wanted to be one to do it? What would be so wrong with that?

Boxes.

We try so hard to define people and put them into boxes. I seem to have taken on that task myself so much so that I have forgotten how to have fun with my craft. I’ve forgotten what it means to tap into human emotion and meaning. I’ve forgotten how to BE an artist. I no longer know what that looks like, especially for me.

Hence my deconstruction…and hence the reason for this trip all the way out to Malibu…

During this season of my life, I’m going to have fun playing again and reclaiming the artist that I want to be. Im hitting the reset button on my artistic vision. I’m being deconstructed and praying that I’ll soon be able to put the pieces back together again, that I’ll have a Reformation in my own heart and in my work. It’s a somewhat frustrating process that’s making me dig my knuckles in the sand. But even as I do that, the view is still beautiful and the view is still beautiful in the process… 🙂

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One response

26 10 2012
tamishatyler

Great post.
It never to early to start the deconstruction process. I have found that the reason that boxes do not work is because (even though they have 3 dimensions) they cannot capture the fullness of God, and thus (since we are created in His image) cannot capture the fullness of who we are to be. We have made life more about boxes/structures/compartmentalizing and less about…life. So reclaim who you are called to be, but be aware of creating new boxes to replace the old ones. Glad you’re having fun at the beach!

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