Go and check out 1 Kings 7 and you will see the story of a man named Huram. Well it isn’t really the story of Huram it is the story of his work on “Solomon’s” temple. The passage goes to describe the beautiful artwork on the pillars heading into the temple. Part of the description is about the 200 pomegranates around the top of the pillars. That doesn’t sound that strange until you start to do the math and realize that the ornate fruit was about 30 feet off the ground. He created excellence in a place where only he and God could see
Shawn Woods in his book 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One takes this small story of Huram and his dedication to his art and uses it as a jumping off point for living a life of art. It is a quick read and one I would recommend. I picked it up thinking that it would be more about artist, but as it turns out it is really more about serving. If you are someone who is serving in the background without a whole bunch of recognition or credit then I would say be sure to pick this book up.
He does take a few more liberties with the life of Huram than I am comfortable taking myself. He tends to read the Biblical account with a more modern day perspective than I feel can be taken just from what we see about Huram in the scripture, but that in no way diminishes 95% of this text. On top of that the artist profiles alone are worth the price of the book (even if they are very focused on Wood’s own family).
I guess the idea of striving for excellence at what you do even if it is just you and God who know about it speaks a great deal to my heart these days. I find myself doing things and thinking, “I am the only one who will notice if I rush this” but then I remember that it isn’t about the people who will notice, but the God who I am creating it for. When I start to remember that all of the behind the scenes stuff isn’t about getting credit, but rather about worship I find myself slowing down and taking time to create something beautiful even if it is only for an audience of one.