As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10
Steven Pressfield wrote a book called The War of Art, in which he describes his creative process and his personal struggles to accomplish his craft of writing. He examines the precipice that we often find ourselves perched on….the spot where you know that you were meant to create something meaningful ; and yet you are paralyzed by this unseen force that stops you from completing your craft, or art or song or what ever your particular gifting.
Pressfield calls it “resistance” and explains that it can come from within. The sneaky voices that tell you your not good enough or smart enough, learned or sophisticated enough. It’s strange how those sneaky little voices sound an awful lot like my own voice!
After watching his interview with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday show, the very next day as I read my morning devotional I found these words:
I love how God knits things together so effortlessly.
Don’t quench the spirit. Yes! Don’t douse the flames of your creative longing before you put pen(cil) to paper, breath to voice, pan to stove, yarn to needle, tutu to waist. Do not dismiss your God given talents. The Holy Spirit is with you always, coaxing you along, you can do it. Don’t lose heart before you start.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12
Often we get wrapped up in the concept and the trappings and then don’t even attempt the creation that fueled us to get dressed, to go to the store, to stand on line and bring home our clay and chisels, our thread and fabric, or empty music sheets……. Just to stare at them…….. All forlorn in the bag………… Making us feel empty………. And guilty……. uh-ahem……
That’s the resistance we need to step up to and face down.
I remember watching a coworker once unload box after box of a towering 200 foot long greenhouse. Without stopping she began to open the boxes right there on the spot and erect the greenhouse. Without pausing for a cup of coffee, or to find the directions, or to call all of her friends to let them know how the greenhouse arrived, and what the driver looked like and how many boxes there were. Nope, she dug right in.
Get up and get your gear, do it. Plunge in. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you. Carve out time each day for your creative labors. Mistakes make greatness. Stinky poems get feelings to light, so they can be refined and compared to a summer’s day.
Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shine unto all that are in the house.
Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Mat 5:14-16
Don’t quench the spirit! If you feel stuck pray to the Holy Spirit! Ask our merciful God in heaven the one who placed in you the desire to create, ask Him to birth it from you, to let it leap out into the light. Ask Him to help you move away from the “resistance” and replace it with discipline to follow your gifts.
Sometimes we get mired in complacency or fear. Sometimes we don’t use the wonderful talents you have placed within us. Help us Lord to be motivated to launch into our gifts with joy and overcome any strongholds that bind our creativity. Place in us a spirit of confidence that stands up to any resistance and to push it aside easily. Help us always be grateful for our gifts.