The long play, the high risk.
I probably don't "get" art, and maybe you're the same. I can appreciate the time, creativity, and effort somebody put into a piece of art, but I often struggle to understand why they think their finished product is worth $500.
That being said, something struck me at an art festival recently. They have to charge $500, don't they? Putting in that much time and effort on a project means taking a considerable risk: betting that investing hours making something different than everyone else will be worth it. They have to esteem that as valuable, hoping those around them will, too.
In that respect, art is like ministry. Not pastoral ministry, mind you. Personal, Christian, priesthood-of-all-believers, decision-to-decision, everyday, 100%-cash-back-any-time, regular ministry. (What's in your wallet?)
Long play, high risk. Trusting that if we apply God's wisdom and love every day it's going to pay off. Living this way for Jesus costs a lot. Christians around the world are paying with their lives because they, too, esteem personal ministry as valuable.
This kind of risk-taking in our lifestyle and language shouldn't be an every day concern for just for some Christians. It should be an every day concern for ALL Christians. We value what the majority of the people around us do not. We invest our lives and our time in it, and we bet that it is going to be worth it.
Being a minister for Christ is like being an artist. You invest yourself in something you believe is valuable even if it isn't what the rest of the world is clamoring for. Fortunately, we don't have to wait in a booth at a festival to see if it will be worth it. Our art (our ministries, our lives) have already been paid for by Christ at the high price of his life, suffering, and death.
The long play, the high risk, yes. But all with a guaranteed reward.
Ephesians 1:13b-14 | When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.