1. I Think We Need To Take Time and Discover Who We Are
a. And I don't mean hiking the Himalayas, per se; although there's nothing wrong with a Walter Mitty kind of journey. I mean we need to stop listening to the noise of the world; what it says we need to be, to pursue, to achieve.
b. Once we find that quiet place, it's amazing how distinct God's voice rises in our spirits. I think of all the young people in the world striving, looking for something to be passionate about, something to give their life purpose and meaning, and I want to say to them, "Relax, and quiet yourself. Find God and you will find yourself."
c. Next, I would say, "Do stuff. Try it all. What floats your heart? Chase that."
d. To be a Brilliance Maker we must first realize that we stand before a most magnificent God. He is the one stringing us along in this world with his Beauty, with his Brilliance--it floods through the landscape and through those elegant created gems like books and music and art and connects to our souls.
e. Our Joy may be complete when we find Christ, but it still continues to grow. The further we follow God into His Brilliance, the more we realize that the Joy in this life is not a consummation of our faith but a birth of our relationship with the Divine One.
2. I Think Brilliance Makers Approach Life Differently
a. We live out the Brilliance.
b. We counter perversion with truth.
c. We combat despair with Joy.
d. We topple bitterness and resentment with forgiveness.
e. We eliminate cynicism with belief and whimsy.
f. We erase perversion with purity.
g. We overcome pain with healing.
h. We offer the Brilliance. We ARE the Brilliance Makers.
3. I Think Brilliance Makers Approach The Church Gathering Differently
a. Church becomes a way of life, rather than a day to dress up and sit in rows and listen to rock-worship. Think about your life outside of church.
b. What are we like during the week? Crippled by stress and ambition? Pushing on our careers and families just to grow platforms, reputation, and our wallets, we sprint into Sundays gasping for fuel and breath.
c. And for what? Have we left room for the ache, the pang of Joy we once had? Isn't that why we gather, to encounter something "other"? Someone, "other"?
D. When we leave we grump home tearing each other to pieces and slink right back into #1.
e. A Brilliance Maker realizes that "Church" is a way of life, a chance to live each day in constant celebration of the resurrection, reveling in the victory that it gives us in our relationships, our work, our studies, our stress, our ambition.
4. I Think Brilliance Makers Realize It's Time For A Revolution
a. It's time to strip the veneer of the dark muck we've smeared all over our lives: the "Me-Me-Me" attitude toward everything, the consumer mentality of faith, the transactional spirit so prevalent in our culture--oh how it dims our relationships.
b. It's time to get back to the beautiful grit of the simple and hard, that kind of delight that comes from working through a good book that challenges and uplifts with a friend, that kind of beauty you and I love to drink in when forgiveness is found in a relationship and the flood of reconciliation washes us clean.
c. It's time to re-introduce discipline: getting offline, getting into each other's real lives, getting into causes and communities the same way we get into our "prayer closets"--quietly, not broadcasting it to everyone, letting our deeds be done unto the Lord rather than done unto our Facebook statuses.
5. I Think These Are The Essentials For Being A Brilliance Maker
a. Imagination - cook, sew, paint, write, play, sing, sculpt, dig, design, et al.
b. A Fighting Spirit - the good kind that champion the resilient heart in the face of the everyday grind.
c. Kindred Spirits - find one, hold on to it, pour into it, share who you are.
d. Awareness - seek out rather than waiting to "happen upon."
e. Silence - a mouth that practices restraint, a heart that waits, a body that is still.
f. Walks (See #7)
g. Dusk times by the river with a friend.
h. A Theology of Beauty
i. Camp Fires - with friends, with your pixies, with your wife, with yourself.
6. I Think Brilliance Makers Make An Effort To Create Atmosphere
b. Brilliance Makers read and share the wisdom and whimsy from Edith Schaeffer's fantastic book The Secret Art of Homemaking. Dudes, don't think that book isn't for you. Read it.
c. See #5i
7. I Think Brilliance Makers Devote Themselves To Memorizing The Words of God
a. Not that you shouldn't by my newest book, but when did we decide reading the freshest new book from our favorite pastor or Jesus fanatic was more vital than Psalm 1:1-3? Just a thought.
c. We obsess over words, we draft our Facebook statuses and tweets. We nit-pick the words of others. Why not filter that energy into really knowing the Word at the root of Brilliance.
8. I Think Being a Brilliance Maker Is Not About A Trendy New Lifestyle Only Appealing To Free-Spirited 20somethings And Long-time Romantics.
a. It is the adoption of an age-old holy example of being transformed.
9. I Think It's Time For Men To Put Down The XBOX Controls and Be Brilliance Makers
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.