Everyone has the ability to create things. In fact, we have no choice. We, as adaptive and dynamic creatures, create almost constantly. We create responses from friends with our facial cues. We create hope or despair with our comments at work. We create motivation with goals for ourselves and others, and unfortunately, we create regression and defeat with the way we fail to seek improvement and excellence.
This concept certainly applies to the creation of art, as well. Our choices and strokes and words and notes become the launchpad for somebody else’s inspiration, or even an important fleeting moment of a shift in mindset.
SO... the big question exists: How do we maintain an attitude of hope in what we create? How do we live in the space of love and grace even when we don’t notice that every second is creating something new for ourselves and those around us?
Making music, be it at church or at a dive bar’s open mic, is my own escape. I have power over what I’m creating, at least most of the time, because I am well rehearsed and familiar with the way things go. At my full time job as a nurse however, the interactions that I have are often fast and shallow. It gets discouraging to think that my quick opportunities to create hope with patients and advocate for excellence with co-workers can slip by during 13 hour shifts that seem to be over in a blink.
Lately, I’ve been holding onto Paul’s words in his second letter to the church in Thessaloniki. He says this in 2 Thessalonians 2:17 (The Message):
May Jesus Himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, and enliven your speech.
What a phenomenal surprise! We have been given- out of the blue, undeserved, and most likely not even fully grasped- marvelous tools of help and confidence from God. We create and respond not because we have the ability to produce good things on our own, but because we know and reflect the One who IS good and who created us.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely need my work invigorated sometimes. I need my speech enlivened, and I need the things I create to reflect my Creator more and more. Hopefully, this reminder that Christ is our launchpad can center us more and more, not only our art, but in our motivations to act.
Aly Chisum is the Associate Worship Leader at the The Gathering's McCausland Site and a vital part of the Made New Creative team. She is featured on The Desert, our most recent EP release, as a performer and songwriter, and she typically leads at our 5pm worship service on Saturday evenings. She completed our internship program in the summer of 2015, and also works full-time as a registered nurse.