Hearing Yourself Sing Your Own Song
From time to time people will ask me, "How do you write those devotions every day?" To be fair, I don't write them every day--just five days a week, and I take a bunch of days off during the year for various reasons.
But it's a valid question, I suppose. I don't really have a good answer to it except this one: It's part of my daily routine, and I can't imagine not doing it. I started this journey five years ago, and I've found life in it ever since.
Granted, there are some days when the ideas come more easily than others, and there are other days when I stare at the blank screen on my computer and nothing happens... at least not right away. In the end, I always write, though. There's always something inside my head that was dying to come out even if I wasn't aware of it.
Also here is the secret to punching through writer's block, in case you're curious: A deadline. Knowing that I have a deadline is the surest way to get me working. In my opinion, you often don't know just how creative you can be until you have to summon it.
Speaking of creativity... I believe that every single one of us is imbued with creativity because we are created in God's image, and God is all about creativity. More importantly, God delights in creativity. You can feel it all around you when you stop and pay attention to Creation.
So don't give me that old chestnut, "But I'm just not a creative person!" or "I don't have a creative bone in my body." In fact, your entire being is permeated with creative energy imprinted by the Divine Creator and placed there for you to tap into as needed.
And sisters and brothers----your creativity is needed now more than ever.
One of the many things that hold most of us back from living into our creative potential is the feeling that whatever we do won't be good enough---especially in comparison with what other people might have already done.
I had that feeling years ago when I was thinking about what it would take to get my first book published, and became stymied by the whole thing. I felt like my work wasn't that great, and I couldn't even get a literary agent to represent me.
I remember sitting at a workshop with author and pastor Rob Bell and telling him. "It doesn't matter anyway, everything I have to say has been said before." Rob didn't even hesitate in his response, "Yes," he told me, "but not by you."
Whatever it is that is within you---we need it, the world needs it. It might be writing, painting, speaking, baking, creative hospitality, organizing, casting vision, photography, storytelling... the list is long. It might be teaching or mentoring kids (your own or someone else's), or providing creative care for the lost and lonely during a global pandemic.
Who cares if what you have to offer isn't yet professional grade? Consider this your deadline. It's time to stop sitting on your creativity (you know what I'm talking about) and do something about that longing within you that won't go away.
Besides, it will feel amazing to let it flow---no matter where it flows, and how it makes its way out of you. Jeff Tweedy is a singer/songwriter and leader of the band Wilco, and in his excellent little book on songwriting, he wrote this:
But you’ll be surprised how good it feels to hear yourself sing your own song.
It does feel good to fulfill God's purpose and to become a co-creator with God in the work of bringing shalom to the world. It feels better than good. It feels right and holy. And you are called to it---all of us are called to it.
May you discover the courage to give yourself permission to allow the divine creative urge free access to your heart and soul. May you create without fear in whatever way you feel called to create, and take great joy in hearing yourself sing your own song.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.