The creative and artistic process requires a willingness to move beyond “I’m not really equipped for this and don’t yet have all the right experiences” to a simple “yes.”
I know that many of you — I would say all of you — are creative people yourselves, involved in writing and art and music and other forms of expression. And if you’re not, I’d encourage you to ask yourself if there might be some work for you to do. As I move forward into the new year, I’m going to encourage that creativity in those of you who read my blog, even as I encourage you to look deep within for the source of that good work.
Sometimes, in our assurance of our own belovedness, we begin to think that we (our group, our tribe, our church, our denomination, our country, our race) has a monopoly on God’s love and we begin to create in our minds “the other.”
We don’t draw upon what’s planted within us to find religion; we draw upon religion to find what’s planted within us. Even that well-worn phrase, “he’s found religion,” seems to be missing the point. It’s not religion God wants us to have but rather the deeply found relationship of looking within ourselves and finding God there waiting for us.
May we take our work seriously and ourselves with a grain a salt, with a growing knowledge that we are only instruments waiting to be played, apprentices under the guiding hand of a master craftsman, young players in need of the maestro’s baton, glimmering pieces of shiny glass and refracted light in search of focus and unity, sparkling moments of inspiration awaiting meaning and purpose, self-knowledge that we are moons, not stars capable of our own energy and light.
I’ve written about mystery and around mystery and have been inspired by mystery. How could I have not? As a person of faith who tries to live a contemplative and aware life, mystery lies at the core of all I am and believe. For in mystery, God resides.
May we live today knowing this power we hold to make small dents in the armored lives of others, that we possess in our hands and in our words the ability to make change and draw the attention of the world to the source of all light, the one sun who casts shadows too many to count across the surface of our days.
So often we don’t act because we don’t think we make a difference, as if one voice doesn’t matter, as if the buzz that comes off of our lives is insignificant. But that mindset negates the power of community — of people who put their heads down and work and get the job done, of singers who lift one voice and form a chorus, of worshippers who gather around a common table and form one body in Christ. That’s the buzz of our lives, the bee-loud glade of our existence.
The voice of God is the voice that tells us to love beyond all else. It is the voice that calls us to union with itself and communion with all those around us. The voice of God tells us we have meaning and purpose.
It’s okay to not be productive for a while (and that’s a tough one for me). It’s okay to simply sit “fallow” with God in prayer, without agenda or even words, knowing that God is plowing and harrowing me, leaving me unsown in order to restore my fruitfulness at the time only God controls. God’s work, God’s time.