Rachel Rushing

*yes, I have religious beliefs. letting you know now, so no one feels tricked.

Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
Their ears are open for knowledge. (Prov. 18:15)

Wise men know, if you want to be wise, you must keep learning. If you want to keep learning, you must surround yourself with people who are wiser and smarter than you.  This takes an incredible amount of humility and is why I love art, faith, and education.

Art is always about something. Even if it’s about nothing, it’s about something. Artists are this amazing group of people who question and communicate in any language available to them.  Personally, the most interesting art questions & asks viewers to do the same. The Impressionists wanted to question the very nature of paint, of light and all it’s facets. Dada questioned the nature of everything- could anything be art? I suppose their conclusion was that if anything could be studied or questioned, then yes, it could be art. I am an artist because I like being questioned and I like questioning others. I like the possibility in problems, and have difficulty understanding when others are more intimidated by the challenges. I think this is what God asks of us too.

A few days ago I read the vision statement for International Arts Movement. I am extremely interested in the relationship between my art and my faith, and how the two can interact. I love this quote from their statement, “Our programming and resources equip the creative community to generate good, true, and beautiful cultural artifacts: sign-posts pointing toward the “world that ought to be.” Through understanding the culture that is and looking toward what could be, we hope to rehumanize our world.” Their mission statement is music to my ears, “IAM gathers artists and creative catalysts to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to engage…”

There are critics of any faith, always with the question of “How can you REALLY know?”. A lot of people say critics always assume anyone with any faith is just ignorant and uneducated (no one’s ever said that to me, personally, so this is here-say), but I tend to disagree. One of my favorite things about God is that he lets us question- he gives us that much freedom!  We can question everything in the universe- he gave us the brains, ingenuity, and curiosity to do so.

One of my hubs’ favorite discoveries about the universe (and part of his logic behind Intelligent Design) is the Golden Ratio.

This amazing pattern/formula is found in every single part of nature. It’s the shape of a human ear, the pattern of a shell, the arrangement of branches in a tree. My personal favorite offshoot of the Golden Ratio is the fractal.

Fractals are natural patterns in which the small parts are copies of the whole (self-similar, which, interestingly enough, is how I think Believers are supposed to reflect Christ who reflects the Father).

Basically that means that if you measured the width of a tree branch, then measured the size of each limb on that branch, then measured the size of each stick on each limb, they would all be proportional to each other. Not only that, but a group of researchers actually went out and measured a forest in South America like this, then they measured the placement of each tree in the forest and tree PLACEMENT was proportional too! A video on fractals, including the study done, can be found here.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to fore go their use.” -Galileo

“Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish…We need each other to be what we must be, what we are called to be.” – Pope John Paul II

All this to say that I find art and faith exciting for the same reasons. This love of learning leads to my enjoyment in education.  Sadly our current model of education is rote memorization, not real learning.  If we can teach students to question, rather than memorize, perhaps future generations will actually have a creative and unpredictable future. I watched the following video this morning and just love the challenge in this woman’s message.

I also love Geoffrey Canada in this video:

A few inspiring places to look: Donald Miller, International Arts Movement, GOOD, Bob Goff, BOOOOOOOOM, the world