When we say something is “humiliating,” we typically mean it in a negative sense.
Yesterday I had coffee with Jeremy Rodgers, the Film Production Manager at Austin Stone (aka “the film guy” aka “my soon-to-be boss”). We talked over the vision and values of the Story Team as well as some of the exciting projects we’ll be working on in the next year.
One of the key values of the Story Team is humility. “We have no room for pride when we recognize that our ability to create is given to us by the grace of God. We are here to make God famous, not ourselves.” For whatever reason, most of us creative types are predisposed towards pride. I know it is something I must fight often.
Pride is one of those sins that can be hard to recognize. These days, it shows up in my life most often when I lack confidence in my work. Rather than focusing on the story God has given me the opportunity to tell, I’m worried that you’ll notice how bad the lighting is or how much I’m shaking the camera.
Of course, these are the types of things that I’m seeking to improve as I grow as a filmmaker, and I am confident this internship will help me get my skills where they need to be. But it’s more important for me to learn to get out of the way and tell a good story.
Rick Warren says it well. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
As a filmmaker, I should seek to be invisible. When you are watching one of my films, I don’t want you to be thinking about how spectacular that last shot was or how snappy my editing is. I want you focused on the story. In my work for the church especially, I want you to be face-to-face with the greatness of God as He shines through the stories of His people.
This summer I’m getting some good practice in humility. Lately I’ve been complaining about how difficult it is to ask other people for money, especially as a 28 year-old who likes to think of himself as independent. As somebody who has had a career of sorts in education, it’s hard for me to start over as a “lowly intern,” relying on the support of others.
As I discussed this with Jeremy, he made a great point. We tend to think of “humiliation” as a negative thing, but Jesus clearly tells us to seek humility. So really, those things that humiliate us are things God wants to use to make us more like Christ.
So, somewhat begrudgingly, I am trying to be thankful for support raising. Humiliating as it is, it’s helping me become more like Christ.
It’s also making me a better filmmaker.
That through support raising, God would:
1. decrease my pride
2. increase my trust and reliance on Him
3. increase my confidence in His calling for me