Posted: March 29, 2011 in Words

Friday night, I went to a coffee shop in another town to hear my friends play some music. It was a lot of fun because A) their music is really good, B) I really like coffee, and C) I got to hang out with some fun people I hadn’t seen in a while. One of the songs they performed that night was a song I had written last year and shared with them. I wrote it at home one night, uploaded a video of it to YouTube, and called my buddy, Micah. I told him, “Hey, I wrote this song, and if you guys want it, you can have it.” About an hour later, he texted me. He had listened to it a lot, because he liked it a lot. That felt pretty good.

Then Friday night, when they played it on stage, it took on a whole new level of awesome. There were two guitars, a violin, drums, some really pretty harmonies. I got a little teary eyed listening to it. It was neat how much this thing had grown- from me and my guitar in our spare bedroom, to a full song being performed on a stage, with people listening and enjoying. Granted, it wasn’t Carnegie Hall or the Superdome- it was Oasis Coffee in Bridge City, but it was a really cool experience.

So, I want to challenge you to be creative. Make something. Write something. Create something. Then turn it loose on the world and see what happens. Don’t be content to be a consumer- be a contributor. Do you realize that everything you consume was created by someone? Webpages, books, magazines, articles, blogs, songs, cookies, cupcakes, drawings, paintings- there’s a creator behind each of those works. You could be a creator too, you know.

And don’t say, “Oh, but I’m no good at anything.” Stop it. For a couple of reasons:

  1. You were created in the image of God, and he is infinitely creative. So you’ve got a spark of creativity in you, you just need to find it and cultivate it.
  2. If you create something, it’s a success, even if it’s ugly or bad. There’s this philosophy called l’art pour l’art. It means “art for art’s sake.” Basically, it says that art doesn’t have to be good or beautiful to have value. It has value simply because it is a thing that has been created. (I’ll post more about that later in the week.)
  3. If you say, “Oh, I’m no good at _____” what you’re probably really saying is, “I tried it, and it was hard, so I decided not to do it anymore.” If that’s the case, I agree with you. If you’re going to be lazy, you’re right- you can’t do it. Lazy does not equal Creative.

Start thinking about something you could create. Later this week, I’m going to challenge all of us to do something. We’ll call it something catchy like “The BDB Creativity Initiative,” only that’s not catchy. It’s long and wordy and dumb. I’ll figure it out. But start thinking- what could you create? Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to make or learn, but never have. Maybe it’s an idea you had that died on the vine. Maybe a hobby you started and gave up on. Think about it and stay tuned.

  1. That is a great idea.

    I took lots of art classes in highschool and a drawing and painting class in college. I really love painting, but can’t ever find the time for it. I also seem to forget to do photography as art instead of photography with a determined end (like a photography job, or an event, or something I plan on creating in advance). I’m excited to hear your challenge, good sir!

  2. Judy Hall says:

    I believe I would have reacted the same as you if something I had written was performed on stage like that. I bet it was awesome!! Do they by chance have it recorded at all? If so, you should bring it and let us listen to it sometime! You are a very creative and talented musician, as well as a wonderful and talented pastor.
    Now, does scrapbooking count? Which by the way, I need to get busy with our church album!!!
    Great challenge idea sounds like!

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