This past Sunday I preached about “Filling your own shoes” — becoming who God created you to be. I think each of us have several core desires built right into our spiritual DNA — not just love, significance, and all those universal desires elucidated by psychologists. I mean something uniquely us, a spiritual fingerprint given by God himself. I want to take the next two days to talk about my two core desires: I’ve found that it almost doesn’t matter what I’m doing — I’m a happy, fulfilled guy as long as I’m either creating or exploring.
First, the creating.
My mom and dad tell me that I used to get up at 6am… not to watch cartoons or play video games (there weren’t any vids back then) but to draw. My dad would bring home stacks of paper from school with print on one side, and I would drawdrawdrawdrawdraw. Cartooning, sketching, painting… It’s always been a part of who I am. I also enjoy working with clay, making willow furniture, writing, art, cooking, you name it. Which is why I love preaching. I’m creating something that God can use to bless others. Creating word pictures. Creating inspiration. Creating moments for life-change. I’ve written two short stories with my oldest Son, Noah, and my daughter Glory and I are practicing our plasticine skills to make one of those plasticine relief books.
I’ve always had this weird kind of inspiration — in art, I “see” what I want to draw before I draw it. With my writing, I often “hear” it before I get it down. In fact, several times I’ve awakened in the morning to discover a whole story — even an idea for a novel, including premise, major plot lines, a few characters — is just “there” in my mind, waiting for me to write it down. Other times, I’m gripped with a sense of destiny, or “oughtness” when I write. My entry “Eye of the Beholder” in this blog was like that. I think it shows.
Even beyond the effect or the “product”, which of course any honest artist admits he or she wants others to enjoy and appreciate, there is something deeply satisfying about just plain old creating in and of itself. About watching something slowly take shape, about summoning order out of the darkened chaos. I can totally resonate with God on this one. After creating something, I so often think, “It is good.” Not just the product. The act of creating itself is good.
I think that’s why I love to change. It’s like I’m God’s clay, and I’m watching him refine me and make me more like Jesus and also more like myself. Every time I learn something, or choose a path, or let a sin go, I’m becoming. I’m growing. God is creating. I’m cooperating.