While I was at Hutchmoot, I attended a session led by author N. D. Wilson on “A Case for Craft.” He talked about the importance of pursuing excellence as we establish a Christian aesthetic, and he made one particular statement that has stayed with me in the days following:

Learn what pleases God.

As we read, write, listen to and make music, and pursue other creative endeavors, we should be reading God’s Word and learning what pleases Him. Does my writing please God? Is He happy with it? What about the music I listen to or the movies I watch? The books I read?

I am walking through Ephesians with my Hello Mornings group, and look at some of the verses we have been studying and meditating on this week:

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10

Just … wow. God wants us to find out what pleases Him. He plainly says so in His Word. Discovering what pleases God is not some mystical challenge that can never be fully realized. He invites us to the challenge, to delve into His Word and learn about Him so that we may know Him and His desires better.

This may mean rejecting some of the things the world calls “good” but are things that break God’s heart. It may mean standing up and standing out from the crowd. It may mean looking and sounding a little different. But, isn’t that what Jesus did?

I don’t claim to have the magic key here, but I can say this – I want to spend more time getting to know what God likes. I want to make sure that my art and my appreciation of art line up with the things that He finds pleasing and that bring glory to Him.