Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review - 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One

I've finished reading my first full Kindle book on iPad. It was a pretty pleasant experience, thanks to a large degree to the compelling quality of this unusually titled book. It's "200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One: Creating a Lief of Meaning and Influence" by Shawn Wood via Abingdon Press.

200 What? Yes, that's the same reaction I had. The book explores a story from the Bible which many of us have missed or glossed over. It's the story of Huram of Tyre, a craftsman and artist. Huram was a bronzeworker helping construct the temple in Jerusalem. The way he went about his craft is an inspiration for all of us. Through the book we start to see that being an artist, doing things for an audience of one, is for all of us. The premise of the book is straightforward, explained in these "five components of life-artistry":
  • Get great at something
  • Do something with that talent
  • Invest yourself in things that will last and that others will benefit from
  • Work for an audience of one, because sometimes our best work is seen only by God
  • Finish what you start
"In order to get great at something, it seems that God intends for us to build upon the foundation of skills and wisdom that He has given us, and not just daydream of skills and talents that we wish we had. He intends for us to use the greatness that he has given us to serve others... Choosing to be great at something will mean choosing not to be as good at many other things."
Shawn is an excellent storyteller, and the book is only 144 pages, which made for a very quick and enjoyable read. The chapter on "Do Something" was very convicting, as it put the bane of perfectionism in the crosshairs. There's a tremendous difference between perfectionism that keeps your from starting until the conditions are perfect or you know all the answers, and doing something you were designed to do with excellence. Another challenge that hit me hard -- "There comes a point in your life where you have to decide if you will continue to live a life centered on yourself or if you will make the difficult choice of investing in things that will last." You are an artist. Your grandest work is life itself. What are you creating?
"As a follower of Jesus, it is my goal to get great at something, and then do something with my gifts and skills by investing in things that will last and that will benefit others. In living this lifestyle I will work for an audience of one, because I understand that sometimes only God will see my best work."

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