Made For More

From Tyler: Today’s post is from my friend Matt Appling. Matt just released his first book this week and after talking with him about it a few months back I can’t wait to read it myself. In this post he’s sharing from a theme within the book.

Have you ever felt like you were made for more?

Not that your schedule isn’t full. Not that you aren’t busy all day and tired at night. Not that you don’t feel like you’re just keeping it together, being pulled in all different directions.

We all feel those things. But the more I talk to people, the more people I discover who feel that they somehow missed what they were created for.

Despite the business, despite the fatigue, despite the paychecks and the bills and everything else that makes up adult life, they still feel that it’s not enough.

I thought I had missed out too. Like I had made too many wrong turns and wasted too many years and now it was too late. I was going to have to settle for a good enough kind of life.

But then, I became an art teacher…quite by accident. Well, not accident, but providence.

See, every day, I see myself, not in a mirror, but in my students. When my kindergartners come into the room to draw and paint, I see myself as a five-year-old. When my sixth graders come to class, I see myself as a twelve-year-old. I see all the steps I took to grow up, and all of the steps backwards I took while growing up.

We lose a lot as we grow. Sure, we gain a lot of knowledge and wisdom. And our bodies get bigger. But there is something about a five-year-old in art class that is so free, joyful, generous, abandoned that I found myself jealous of those children. They were so much freer than I am! Everything they do, they do because it is natural for them to do. How is it possible? I went to school, grew up, paid for college, got married, bought a house, got a job, and somehow these five-year-olds, seem to know more about what life is about than I do. If you have kids or you have ever intently watched children, you might know what I’m talking about.

That’s the heart of Life After Art. It’s my journey, not to become an artist or become “creative,” but to become human, the human that I was created to be. It’s about figuring out what “more” means when I think to myself that I was made for more.

It’s a journey I hope you’ll take with me.

Matt Appling is a teacher, pastor and writer. His first book, Life After Art, released this week from Moody Publishers. Watch the video preview, buy the book, and get lots of free resources at