There’s a grand secret that all creatives intuitively know, and most creatives will actually embrace eventually … just relax and simply enjoy doing the thing you were created to do.
This worldly kingdom where we live has a nasty habit of trying to mold and shape and drive us into what it wants us to be. Our wonderful technology has become an ideal tool for that.
While we’re online interacting and learning from each other, we’re also seeing and witnessing the success and failures of others. It’s difficult to not compare ourselves to them and to not get sucked into the Am I Good Enough? black hole of despair.
Real black holes, I’ve heard, are impossible to escape from. I think you probably could escape from a metaphorical black hole, but it’s going to be a whole lot of really, really hard work, and you might not be up to the challenge. So the best strategy is to simply avoid getting sucked in to begin with.
It’s easy to get intimidated on social media by all the seemingly happy, successful and interesting lives you see represented. Some of it’s genuine, and some of it is just a lot of smoke and mirrors. Then you go back to your own life, and maybe you’re frustrated while trying to write and create amidst noisy kids and pets. And the bills are overdue and the roof’s leaking and the car is making odd noises.
You have goals and dreams surrounding your new-found creativity and when you go online and see others who are successful and prosperous with their talents and gifts, it’s a real challenge to not get discouraged. You have worked and worked and worked at it, but it is so much harder than you expected. And you can’t see the situation improving anytime soon.
You need to know the difference between Truth and facts …
The world and its ruler want to bombard you with facts doused with lies … the biggest one being that your identity emerges from the things you do and the results you get. So if you’re not getting thousands of clicks and likes, and if you’re not making thousands of dollars, and the world is not scrambling over itself to get over to your site to see your latest creation, you are a loser.
Don’t listen to that nonsense! And a lot of us would say, Oh, I don’t believe that at all! Yet we’ll compare ourselves to what we see online and it’s not easy to step away not feeling a little less-than and insignificant. And when you’re putting your work on display for the world to see, and you’re not getting the response you were hoping for, it’s very easy to get discouraged. We tend to measure our value and base our significance on the results of what we do.
But this world is doomed and temporary. Everyone cries out for justice, and one day we will get it … in God’s time He will mete out His justice and pour out His wrath on the world and it’s ways, because we are hopelessly wicked and we have rejected Him and gone our own way. He is holy and righteous, and righteousness demands justice.
Justice means that wickedness will have to be punished and come to an end, and thank goodness for that. Destruction of our world means our bodily destruction, too, but we are souls created for eternity. When we die bodily, our souls return to the eternal, but if we are still separated from God, at that point it’s too late, and we will be forever separated from Him.
So God usurped the facts and overcame them with His Truth … when His Son, Christ, died on the cross, He was taking our punishment in our stead. That’s what “salvation” is … when we accept for ourselves that Christ died for us, and turn away from our own ways to believe and follow Him, we will be “saved” from His wrath when He pours it out on this earth one day. When He rose bodily, He overcame death and made the way open for us. When we die, our souls will be reunited with God in eternity, just like we were originally designed to be!
While we live out our earthly lives, God expects us to work hard to care and provide for our families. He gave us talents and gifts and has designed a plan for each of us to live out. True success comes when we are at peace with Him and we are busy doing the work He assigned to us, using the tools and talents He endowed us with. Whether we have earthly prosperity or not, we will be totally fulfilled when we spend ourselves serving others and honoring Him.
Worldly success is not true success. We may indeed amass wealth and notoriety, and good for us if that happens. But we are not what we do. What we do flows out of who we are … eternal beings with a purpose that’s much higher than merely impressing a fallen and doomed world.
So don’t fret if you can’t seem to impress the world, or if you can’t seem to perfectly reach every goal you’ve got for yourself. Work hard, for sure … just know that true fulfilment comes when you are following Him and living out His plan for you. Sometimes you will see the path clearly, and sometimes all you can do is just take the next step of faith into the unknown … but don’t allow the world to lure you into trading real treasure for temporary trinkets that will end in smoke.
Write your books, draw and paint the pictures, do whatever He’s placed inside of you to do. Relax and enjoy the journey. Invest in the people and activities that will be with you in eternity … the peace and fulfilment inside will bear witness that you are going the right way!