That said, I consider myself to be a person of far greater integrity today by the Grace of God.
At the same time, I've never been more aware of the necessity of my reliance on God, nor that He'll never leave me nor forsake me.
When all's said and done, I'm a deeply blessed man for all my superficial so-called woes, because my heart's desire has been fulfilled.
As for my supposed melancholia, this particular thorn in the flesh has been afflicting Christians for centuries.
To cite some examples for the sceptical...Martin Luther suffered for much of his life from a tendency towards dejection of spirits which he attributed to a variety of causes including spiritual oppression in the realm of the mind,
founder of the Quaker movement George Fox was by his own admission "a man of sorrows" in the early days of his walk with God,
poet and hymnodist William Cowper was a lifelong depressive who endlessly doubted his own eternal salvation,
Prince of Preachers Charles Spurgeon was prone to inexplicable anguish accompanied by lengthy bouts of solitary weeping, and so on and so on.
What though are the tears and trials of this brief life when compared to the fathomless joy that awaits the true Believer in Heaven?
3. (A Definitive Finale)
If I've given the impression over the course of this piece that I no longer see myself as an artist, then I've done so purely by accident.
What I resolutely don't do however, is subscribe to the theory of the automatically tormented nature of the creative artist.
Could God, the Creator of the universe, possibly condone such a role, which has legendarily entailed a variety of tragic conditions deemed to be characteristic of the "tortured artist" including addiction, depression, mental instability?
Perish the thought.
God wants artists to work for Him, the supreme Artist, to seek refuge in His love and care, where the sensitivity that is so often their undoing can be a blessing rather than a blight to them.
I can't deny I'm still deeply drawn to the creative genius of artists, but not in the way I used to be, which is to say from the position of one who worshipped them at their most turbulent and self-destructive, and thence sought passionately to emulate them...
...as a perfectly foolish young man I wanted...to prove to the world...something...I tried too hard...to do and be everything...to prove to the world...something...
...but from a distance, still appreciating them, but having a heart for them at the same time.
I especially feel for those artists whose sufferings have resulted in their lives being wrecked by alcohol, my own one-time near-nemesis.
I'd like to think that there were those, whether artists or not, who in consequence of reading my writings, come to the realisation that escape from alcohol addiction is possible through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm not saying I haven't paid for my past in a worldly sense...
As a perfectly foolish young man I wanted...to prove to the world...something...I tried too hard...to do and be everything...to prove to the world...something...
What though are the woes of this brief life when compared to the fathomless joy that awaits the true Believer in Heaven?
What though are the wonders of this brief life when compared to the fathomless joy awaiting the true Believer in Heaven?