What Art Demands
Tim Hetherington died yesterday. He's not a household name. But as I watched this story unfold yesterday afternoon, I was struck by the overwhelming notion that for many artists - defined as those of us who find something that makes us come alive - your art may very well demand your life.
Of course, this doesn't mean your art will kill you. But, if you are willing and daring enough to find your passion and chase after it with ever muscle in you, then you must dedicate your life - your entire living and being - to it. In fact, there may be no other way to make your art other than constantly, consistently, and confidently.
It may lead you - as it did Hetherington - to war zones to tell stories that others need to see. It may lead you to stay up late or to get up early, to sleep where you drop or march where you must. Whether you write stories or marketing plans, make videos or custom prints, speak to crowds of thousands or classrooms of schoolchildren, let this be an inspired plea of a warning: when you find that thing that makes you come alive, there will be no fulfillment other than giving your life to do that which beckons you.
As this Easter weekend approaches, I am reminded that Jesus did not die for anyone's sins - he lived for them. This passionate living of his eventually led to a violent execution. Tim's artistic life led to Libya and was ended by an RPG.
I cannot say where your life will lead or when it will end. But please know that if you are willing to commit to something so uniquely you, it will demand all of you. There are no other ways to live out that which you were born to do or who you are called to be.