This is a recent posting from Donald Miller's blog, and, being a creative soul, I kind of love it. I have honestly not felt stifled creatively by my church, but do sometimes feel stifled by either myself or this ambiguous idea of what is okay. Kind of hard to explain; maybe it makes sense? Here's the posting:
Is Church Life Stifling Your Creativity?
When Solomon wrote Song of Songs, a dramatic opera about a young, poor woman who fell in love with a Shepherd king, do you think he had “the voice of the church” in his head? Do you think he was worried about what a group of people might think? Of course the evangelical church didn’t exist, then, and neither did the collective evangelical consciousness, but what I mean by that question is that if Solomon were writing today, and were writing an Opera for young kids about the ways of love, he would no doubt be attacked. My guess is the criticisms would be listed as such:
1. His opera does not mention God. Why wouldn’t he use this opportunity to bring people to God? He’s a Godless man.
2. His opera is erotic, filled with sexual imagery and even sexual instruction. It’s unfitting for any person to read, much less young couples.
3. It’s confusing. We don’t know where the acts begin. It isn’t structured. It’s amature.
4. He never mentions sex should be saved till marriage, so he must be endorsing pre-marital sex.
5. There seems to be no point to the work. If he’s trying to teach something, you can’t figure out what it is, and if he isn’t trying to teach something, what’s the point of reading it or listening to it as an opera?
And so on and so on.
Here’s the point of this blog post: There is a difference between what “the church” wants you to do and what God wants you to do. Do what God wants you to do. Go and create, even as you were made to create.
For me (Sarah, the post is done :)), as I continue to learn and work more on my heart, creative ideas flows more freely. Sometimes I just stew on them, sometimes I attempt to execute, and sometimes, sadly, I do stifle them.
I know of a few creative-souled friends who are committing to invest time in 2011 to expressing God's word in artistic ways. One, a musician is working on a project to put Scripture to music. Another, an artist, is committing to memorize significant portions of the Psalms and illustrating them.
I love this! I'm inspired and am going to commit to expressing creatively something from God's word at least once a week. Much of it may be for my own time with the Lord to learn more about him, the Ultimate Creator, so it may not look pretty. And I am also opening myself to use any form I feel inspired to use, since let's face it, I have a multitude of interests (writing, sewing, yarn work, drawing, music...just not painting, I stink at that one and don't enjoy it as much :)).
I just share this to hopefully inspire you! Even if you think you have zero creativity, that's a lie from the pit of hell! Creativity does not equal the arts. Trust me. I know many people who are not artistically creative and yet they have amazingly creative ideas! Expand your horizons and create. And if you're not an artist (heck, I'm not), who cares. Draw stick figures and I am confident they will bring glory to God! I believe expression draws us deeper into the heart of the King, and am unbelievably ecstatic to see how he'll use this.
He lived serenely, as a greater artist than all other artists, despising marble and clay as well as color, working in living flesh. That is to say, this matchless artist .... made neither statues nor pictures nor books; he loudly proclaimed that he made ... living men, immortals.
Vincent Van Gogh, on Jesus