When Jesus tasked us to start making Christian films, I knew the amount of work for each project would be daunting. Through prayer, I also came to a realization… God already has the answers to our problems… we just have to get out of the way so he can solve them.
Mike Sweeney, of the Oakland A’s, is a very devout Catholic and I saw him on an interview on EWTN. On his bible he has a picture of a tandem, two-seater bike. The front seat is empty, the back seat has someone pedaling furiously. For him, this symbolizes his faith. His job is to work as hard as he can… he lets Jesus steer and decide where that work will lead him.
And that has been my approach. It’s worked like a charm.
I work hard and let God figure out the rest. There have been plenty of times where I was really scratching my head, wondering how in the world would we pull any of our projects off. But, I would say “Lord, we need this location, so find it, let me know what you come up with.” And he does, every time. The Lord always provides.
Here’s a simple example… I found, online, some royalty-free music over at Digital Juice that would have been PERFECT for the opening credits of PUSA. I mean, perfect. Unfortunately, their online store said it was sold out and no longer available. Being royalty-free music, the devil on my shoulder suggested I just record the sample tracks available on their website and don’t tell anyone. The angel on my shoulder, however, reminded me I was a Christian filmmaker and to have faith.
So, I email the company and tell them my predicament. I even offer to pay the price of the CD just to get the rights to use the low quality samples available on their web site. The next day I receive an email from them telling me the angel on my shoulder was right… they searched their warehouse and found two copies. I called and ordered one. The Lord provided.
As certain as I am the Jesus has called me to do this, I am just as certain that he has called others as well. My job is to keep pedaling the bike and he’ll make sure we cross paths with those called to help out.
Another example… I’m dying trying to figure out a way to find three locations (stage, theater lobby, men’s restroom). While over helping my brother Charles with his kitchen rebuild, my nephew Chris mentioned that at his job (at St. Pats) they had put up a stage. The next day we have lunch and I check out the location… it not only has a stage, but a place for the theater lobby and a men’s restroom we can use. Awesome.
Here’s one other way the Almighty and I have developed a short-hand of faith… in pre-production for Purgatory, USA, there were numerous times where I was certain I’d have to cancel the project. Scheduling issues, moving targets, casting concerns… it all seemed impossible. But I kept plugging along. In prayer I wondered if the challenges in front of me were put their to test my faith, put their by evil forces to disuade me, or if they were God telling me I was on the wrong track.
So, we came up with a plan… I’ll work as hard as I can… if the Lord wants me to do PUSA, then, on shoot days, things will go smoothly. If he doesn’t want me to, then shoot days will be nothing but problems. So, I ignored whatever obstacles stood between me and the shoot days. I just worked hard and asked the Lord to figure out the stuff I couldn’t control. I just focused on getting to shoot days. And though shoot days were long and exhausting, they were also went very smoothly.
As PUSA evolves I think I can see where the Lord may take this project. It may be much bigger than I ever conceived. And not in a Hollywood sort of way, but big in a large impact sort of way. If I am accurate in seeing where he’s steering us, there is a LOT more work to be done… I can’t even comprehend how it would all get done… but that’s not my problem.
My job is to pedal. Pedal hard and fast and everyday.
I’ll let Jesus steer and remember that the Lord provides… always.