I have this basic theory that if Kiwis invested half as much into their own talent and potential, as they do in real estate, New Zealand would be a better place. The world would probably be a better place too.
If you invest in real estate the best case scenario is that you get more money and in turn a more comfortable life. I suppose that the theory is that after you have achieved this comfortable life you can then invest in your potential at leisure. If however, you first invest in your unknown potential, the best case scenario is that you discover a world of untapped possibilities that God only knows about. You may be pleasantly surprised. The result of this is a soul coming alive as it moves toward its God given possibilities.
For me the result in investing into my unknown potential has become very exciting indeed. The first six months was real hard. I didn't really eat, but things slowly took shape. What has happened is that a career as an artist emerged, and is evolving into all sorts of things.
I have also been locking in quite closely with a good friend of mine – Tim, we could call him (his real name is Tim). We leased out a warehouse in central Auckland with the aim of exploring the relationship between creativity and spirituality. We have spent a great deal of time and money creating the space and business that is now called the Mosaic Workshop.
Our hopes are that we could inspire people to rediscover some forgotten aspects of sharing and creativity. For Tim and me this comes naturally out of our Christian faith and we hope that those who journey with us would at least consider this as an option in creating a better world – having faith that there could actually be a better one.
We took a bit of a punt on this one because we figured out that this venture was going to cost us about $120,000 in the first year. A real question for us was, and still is, "can we pay this?" Tim is a student and I am an artist, and with our powers combined we turned over about $40,000 in the previous year. We thought about this quite hard, and the idea phase took about a year to establish. We had this hunch that potentially God was keen for us to give this warehouse thing a go.
For me, deciding to quit paid work and venture unknowingly into becoming an artisan was quite a faith step. It took not only faith in what I could do, but faith in what I could not yet do, and faith in who I felt God was calling me to become. It took a tremendous amount more faith for me and Tim to make ourselves responsible for $120,000 in the first year!
For years I have wrestled with the notions of work, and the social prescriptions of how to live, and found that they fall short of what I desire. The fact is that I desire a better world. What I have found is that faith is a necessary ingredient in to have in making the world better. Faith is the ability to step into what you cannot yet see. Faith makes things real. This has been my conviction that has prompted movement and we are five months into this unknown, and currently costly, journey.
This is my first article in more than three months. It has been this long because on the 30th of October I was in an explosion that made a good mess of my face. What happened was that an instant water heater at the warehouse faulted. It caused immense pressure to suddenly build. This pressure exploded in my face with such a violent force that it badly crushed my left eye socket, the bones were smashed, my lips burst like grapes, and the innards of my eye shot out and landed on the ground as my eye crushed and tore in half.
After emergency surgery, and numerous other procedures the result is that I am now completely and permanently blind in that eye. The bones are healing and my face is regaining feeling after being half numb for almost four months. Actually when you look at me you can hardly tell what has gone on. In a couple more months everything will look fine. The difficulty now is adjusting to monocular vision, but I think I'm getting along okay.
What I'm trying to say is that sometimes it goes well when you are brave and step out in faith, and sometimes it blows up in your face – mind the pun. The important thing is to try your best to do what it is that you feel God exciting in you. That we tentatively say like the first believers in Acts chapter 15, verse 28, "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us". We are not guaranteed safety, comfort or lack of pain. We are guaranteed meaning in our suffering, and the knowledge that God is with us somehow as we try to move toward a better world.
Right now I am somewhere in between immense excitement of what is happening with the warehouse, love, life, work, play, and the potential for things to not go so well – pain, loneliness, failure, and death.
What an interesting journey... I will keep you posted!
God is good.
Jared Diprose is an artist and co-director of the Mosaic Workshop in central Auckland, New Zealand. He believes in the power of words and ideas to shape lives. You can see his work at www.facebook.com/jareddiprosecreative or www.jareddiprose.co.nz. You can visit the Mosaic Workshop page at www.facebook.com/workshopmosaic
Jared Diprose's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jared-diprose.html