February 2011 brought good times to the land: George Clooney came to Cincinnati to film his latest movie. I indulged in what became the local hobby of visiting a set location, just to see what it was like, and, of course, to see George in action.

Shooting that day took place behind the Comfort Inn and Suites in Newport, Kentucky. It sounded like a place teenagers went to smoke after school. In reality it was an alley between two buildings, already filled with onlookers when I arrived. Many people present knew the Clooney family, having worked with, lived nearby or gone to church with them over the years. Nick and Nina, George’s parents, came by to chat.

Then, the business of filming began. After about forty minutes of watching a car drive by, the business of filming ended. We were gathered a bit further down the alley and allowed our George sighting. While my compatriots took phone video, I caught a glimpse of something I didn’t expect: the imagination and clarity of thought it takes to do this kind of work.

Somewhere in the process of developing this idea into a script George and/or his writing partner, Grant Heslov, saw this scene in their minds as part of a whole that would become The Ides of March. This place already existed as a whole other entity doing business as a hotel. I doubt its builders saw it as a featured player in a film created by a local guy who made good. I don’t know if George drove past one day thinking, “Aha! I can use that spot.” But, he did end up using it. We all take these small pieces of stuff that circulate around us and make something of them, some more visibly than others. But, we all do.

Having finally borrowed The Ides of March from the library while I was on vacation last month, I saw the stark economy of the scenes created with me in the wings, watching. The familiar chill of that day stared right back at me. And with that, a clear sense of the creative process of someone who has made a success of doing what he loves.

I don’t think directing movies comes to certain people by luck or chance. Nor do I believe some people’s lives work out well for either of those reasons. Perseverance and effort play a huge role. But more so, I know that defining our beliefs and directing them creatively is what does the trick. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:34),” doesn’t refer to material wealth, but to the generous gifts we have already received from our Creator to share with others. Our deepest joys, our heart’s desires, link us to our treasure and how we may use it to serve in our own particular way.

While using our gifts and talents may help us accrue financial abundance that we can use as we choose, the point of this scripture is not to shame us for liking nice things or a certain standard of living. This final verse completes a chapter focused on owning and using the gifts we have been given. The chapter also helps us understand that comparing ourselves to family members, hoarding what we have to keep it safe and holding ourselves slaves to what other people think we should be doesn’t free us from our responsibility to employ what God has given us to serve others. And that responsibility can be carried most easily when we enjoy our lives. So, sort out what pleases you, what brings you joy in sharing it, and you have already begun to direct your beliefs.

George Clooney has said that he feels most at home on a movie set. His pleasure in creating The Ides of March was tangible that day. It was also contagious, kind of like a village fair. Visible self-mastery is part of sharing the treasure. Personal awareness allows us to be vulnerable, exposed, and to trust ourselves in the process. Fear of being seen is often a false belief in needing to be perfect that keeps us limited and limits our access to the treasure within our lives waiting to be manifested. Fear is not known for opening doors or creating joy. It is also a very expensive way to live.

For where your reassure is, there your heart will be also. What brings you joy? What do you love to do? How do you like to spend your time? These are places to start in understanding what you believe about what you are here to do, your life purpose. The next step is to take those beliefs and apply them in directing your own life.

Author's Bio: 

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp, a native of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, brings a background in communications, women’s studies and pastoral ministry to her work as a faith communication coach. Putting into practice the journaling skills she created and teaches, Cory founded Communication Leadership, helping women leaders - ministers, spiritual directors, lay leaders, healers and coaches - define and direct their beliefs as skills of creative, faithful living. Cory’s unique Conversation Journaling program gives you practical tools applicable for many aspects of your personal, professional and religious life. Over thirty-five years of journaling experience gives Cory an informed perspective on life challenges and how to transform them into triumphs.