Are you a rebel at heart? You know, one of those who, if the world says, Yes – up – stop, you’ll be saying, No – down – go. Sometimes for no other reason than just because you are a rebel! A maverick. A nonconformist. The one that wants to buck the system. This is a beautiful thing.
God Himself placed all that intensity inside of us. And like a new-found toy, we like to pick it up and have at it! But quickly we find ourselves crashing into rules and limits. Rules from the printer. Rules from the publisher. Rules from our family! PHYSICS!! Yeesh!!
However, I must admit that sometimes that physics thing is where it’s at! I think it’s pretty darn cool that when Rembrandt or Michaelangelo were mixing red and blue centuries ago, they were getting the same results then that we get today when we mix red and blue. And physics makes my work in colored pencil really convenient, because when I find a great “recipe” for a certain color or effect – like a recipe for blond hair that really works well – I can record what colors I used, and the order I used them. Six months later, when I have another character with blond hair, I can get out my recipe, and it still works!
But other times the physics thing really cramps my style! Like when I’m in the zone and don’t want to stop drawing or writing at the end of a work day. Let’s just go all night! But hunger and fatigue will always trump zeal. The body and the brain can just do so much for you in a 24 hour period! Push the limits for several 24 hour periods in a row and problems start to mount up ... like I mentioned last week ... laundry, yard work, food, budgets ... and then even the creativity will begin to suffer! I’m no scientist, but, no matter, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is alive and functioning very well at our house! And I knew all about how that works long before I ever learned that it had a name!
My left-leaning tendency – where creativity resides – just wants to play all the time! Paying light bills and pulling weeds isn’t nearly as much fun! But the mere fact that the earth rotates, giving us a continuous cycle of night and day, creates a built-in routine and order to our lives. We cannot escape it. And when our left-leanings come crashing against our right-leanings, the right-leaning side – where structure resides – will generally prevail. Mostly because of physics as stated above. And if the rebel continues to buck, unpleasant consequences will likely result ... consequences coming mostly from the laundry room, the rest of the family, and the neighbors!
The truth is, for most of my life, I would’ve said I was stronger in my right-leanings than my left-leanings. Because I always had a regular job and most of my dalliances with art happened in free time after the work at home and on the job were finished. A lot of built-in structure there. But now – working by myself from home, drawing and writing for hours daily for clients and the website – the long-asleep left-leaning giant inside is wide awake and boy, is she ravenous! She has turned my world upside down!
So that’s how my conversations with God began ... and that’s when I began to understand ...
The left-leaning side is the “creative” side. It’s very, very important. Because this is where God plants all those wonderful dreams and aspirations, the purpose He has for your life, and all the special gifts, abilities and raw talents you will need to fulfill that purpose.
The right-leaning side is the “structure” side. It’s very, very important. Because all those gifts, abilities and talents need to be developed and exercised in order for those dreams, aspirations and purposes to be fulfilled. The structure side of you provides the right setting and environment for that to happen.
All of us have both sides. It’s not a matter of being predominately right- or left-leaning. It’s a matter of integrating both aspects within us. People who are not “artistic” in the traditional sense, are still creative. And all the avant garde artists out there have just as strong a need for structure and routine in their lives.
There’s a wonderful verse in the Bible that perfectly describes this condition ... it is Jeremiah 5:22 (NIV):
“Should you not fear Me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in My presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.”
And, yeah, free-wheeling me has taken it totally out of context ... Jeremiah is NOT talking about creative types here! But guess what he is talking about ... people who bucked the system, decided to go their own way, crossed the barriers and crashed into the set boundaries. There are always consequences when we break the rules. But read that verse again carefully ... while the sea may not be allowed to cross the barriers set in place, it still can roll and roar! That’s what He designed it to do! Let’s discuss purpose ...