Without vision, the people perish. Without vision, I live aimlessly. God leaves us clues. These clues may be key experiences, key dreams, key thoughts. Life clues turn into key words. The key words form a mission statement. The mission statement becomes a life navigation tool to zero in on a destination, to stay on a certain path, and to channel my time and energy wisely into fulfilling the role He has asked me to play in His Kingdom.
My notes as a student
A record of my 4.0 GPA at Townson University
The Beginning of Vision
When I was a teenager, my dad encouraged me to meditate on the idea of Goshen (this is literally the territory where Pharaoh allowed Joseph’s family to multiply peacefully while living as foreigners in Egypt). The spiritual connotation of Goshen is a Godly city founded on Kingdom values and populated by Kingdom citizens, while thriving in the midst of ungodly cities.
I was on full scholarship for a Master’s degree in piano performance in the U.S. During my two summers there, I was a scholar at a high-level music training camp. These summers were among the most glorious days of my life.
We were an entire community of Born Again Christian classical performing artists who seriously took our mandate to engage a humanistic and skeptical culture with the Word of God through the medium of music. Through our rehearsals, masterclasses, Bible studies, and quiet times, we were trained to become as excellent as possible in our craft and in deepening our relationship with God. We were being trained to hold a better position in networking and in sharing Christ with performers all over the world.
Picture of Katherine years later in Indonesia, giving a lecture to piano teachers who were trainees.
The diary entry below was written while I was at camp:
A Vision for a Godly Artistic Revolution in the Philippines (My Journal Entry from 6/6/ 02)
“Just as the Lord and His wisdom shall be the cornerstone of this Global City (this Goshen), the Lord and His creativity shall be the guiding philosophy that will enlighten the artistic thoughts and corresponding expression of all performers and craftsmen who wish to be part of the cultural make-up of this community.
We are in the world, but we are not of the world.
The artist whose heart is circumcised by God understands that His genre is the channel through which he makes his belief system–that the Lord is Lord of all–to the world.
With this understanding comes an overwhelming responsibility to be above reproach in every
area of life.
The ‘circumcised artist’ leads a disciplined lifestyle, not given to self-depreciating exploration of the world’s reckless lifestyles. Rather, he/she conscientiously brings all thoughts/intentions and actions under the control of the Holy Spirit.
We are to set ourselves apart from the stereotype of the humanistic artist who has given control of his faculties over to impure motivations–wine, drugs, vice, ambition, greed, etc. We are to be paragons of clean living and humble reverence to the God who gave us our talents to use in building his kingdom.
The purpose of art in the Global City, above all, is to ennoble the human spirit. Meaning, art should not merely exist for its own sake, but should exist to serve as a means to ingrain virtue, character, and all that is good, true, and beautiful in each citizen.
The artist himself must be convinced of the indispensability of his role in the blossoming of a culture/society. Art is a basic way of viewing human reality, and therefore, a vehicle for transforming human reality. But in order to transform tangible reality, the transformer himself must be transformed. And only transformation through the renewal of his thoughts by the Holy Spirit brings about genuine and lasting, external, societal transformation for the betterment of all.”
Twenty years after writing this entry down, I have experienced only partial fulfillment for the ideas written down. In the last 20 years, God has allowed me to teach kids and adults, worship in church, play concerts, record albums, compose music, establish music programs for the poor, and share the Gospel in squatter communities. But my heart knows He has so much, much more in store for me than what I have been able to experience thus far. My performing career may have been put on hold for now, but my audience/classroom/mission field has become my five children, whom I am caring for full-time.
Teaching Music at Philemon Academy
God’s blueprint for me has not been actualized in the way I expected, but I recognize that HIS WILL FOR ME IS SLOWLY UNFOLDING. As long as I abide in Him and stay true to what He has shown me, I will reach His finish line.
Katherine with Jay Gomez in “A Grand Night for Singing: A Tribute to the Filipino Veteran”
END OF PART 2
Editor’s Challenge: How has God’s vision for your life been unfolding? Perhaps it is time to write down the vision? Like Katherine, it will be good to keep a journal and write down the beautiful things you are learning as you journey with God.