As a kid growing up in church I always thought it was ironic that we could sing those majestic hymns full of wonder and awe and the joy of belonging to Him, but for anyone walking in while the congregation was singing, the first question they might ask is, Who died? We could indeed make “Sunshine in My Soul” sound like a funeral dirge.
If your beloved expressed their love for you like we sang those hymns, it would not bode well for the relationship. You would either dump ‘em or make an appointment with a good therapist.
There was much more excitement and energy down at the football stadium, but those folks could get weird, too … showing up half dressed with heads and bodies painted in their team’s colors, and screaming themselves hoarse.
This is why God doesn’t need television or movies … humans are entertaining enough.
While things could certainly use some livening up in some churches - and though I know that different denominations (and the ages of the congregants!) would have their own ideas about how far that should go - I’m certain that showing up half dressed and all painted up would be a bit over the top. We absolutely should get emotionally involved in our worship, but we don’t want to sacrifice the reverence.
And your friends will stop inviting you along to the games if you just sit there like a bump on a log with no reaction when your team scores. Party pooper.
Life is all about balance.
Most folks know instinctively the appropriate times and ways to express the emotions they feel. They can read a room or the vibes they’re getting from people around them, and can tell straightaway when and how to either express or hold back the emotions they’re feeling.
And creatives can, too. We’re built just like everybody else with the same emotions and impulses. And most of us know when to hold back or let loose. Polite society has a way of policing itself, and if/when we get carried away and act inappropriately, we generally find out about that quickly and make the necessary corrections.
Still, we creatives have a distinct advantage … we have ponies.
All that means is that we feel all the same feelings everybody else does, but we just feel them at a more intense level. We’re usually the ones weeping in church or standing our painted bodies up and screaming in our stadium seat … but not always. Some creatives aren’t very demonstrative at all, but instead are very quiet and keep all of their feelings and thoughts private. Lots of deep-feeling folks who aren’t creative do those things, too. And when the service or the ball game is over, they just go about their lives.
But a creative, demonstrative or not, will go home and think about it. And ponder it. And consider it from a hundred different angles. And relive it and chew on it, until they get the urge to do something about what they’ve pondered, considered, and chewed on. And that wonderful pony they possess will get stirred up. Then they’re moved to express it somehow.
So they sculpt, write, draw, paint, dance, sing or make music about it, depending on whatever is their particular forte.
And the world is blessed with wonderful art.
If you are a creative and you’ve never heard about having a pony, or if you ask a creative friend about their pony and they never heard of it … there is a perfectly logical explanation … I made it up! I told people about it, of course, but I’m not famous, so not everybody on the planet has heard ... I’m working on it.
The pony is my made-up metaphor for all that wonderful energy creatives have inside that moves them to make all their wonderful art. It started out as a fun article for the site with a tongue-in-cheek explanation for why artists are just a little different from other folks on the planet. The article got posted, but I continued to ponder, consider and chew on the idea – because that’s what people with ponies do – and the metaphor seemed to hold up and the whole pony idea took on a life of its own.
That’s why you’ll find ponies all around the website, and why in this month’s blogs, we’re going to talk a bit about our wonderful ponies and how to take advantage of this wonderful gift we’ve been given.
If you are a storytelling writer and/or drawer of picture books, your pony is your best friend. Your pony – i.e. all that wonderful creative energy inside – will turn your world upside down. And whether that’s good or bad will depend on how you manage him.
And if children’s books aren’t your thing, but you have the creative bent, too, read on anyway, because all creatives have ponies!