As a creative I sometimes have those times when I wonder what the heck is it all for. I’ll bet I’m not the only one … I’ll bet most creatives wonder, too …
What’s so important about this thing we do? Why do we have all these urges to draw, write, compose, paint sculpt, make music? Irresistible, compelling urges that absolutely must be played out or else we’ll explode!
We spend massive amounts of resources creating … time, money, physical, mental and emotional energy. Sometimes our health and family suffer because of it. All that effort and anguish to create work that really doesn’t serve any obvious, immediate, important, or useful purpose. Often, finishing up a project is a bit anticlimactic. Once our work has been read, observed, or listened to … well … that’s about it!
So why all the work and fuss? It’s all about the romance …
Not the candlelit-dinner-and-butterflies-in-your-tummy kind of romance, that we are bombarded with 24/7 through our media, music and movies.
No, I’m talking about something much bigger, broader and basic than that … it’s the romance of life itself.
It’s that ever-present intensity inside of us that motivates us to move forward in life, that motivates us to move towards other people and activities that interest us … then we begin making connections. Connecting with others gives us a sense of belonging and value … then relationships are formed … and that’s the whole point … relationships! It all begins with that inside intensity and how we respond and react to external things – other people and our environment – that’s what I call the romance of life.
Because God is relational, and He created humans to be like that, too.
We want it. We need it. We will die without it. Because relationship is all about connection. People who aren’t connected wither away spiritually, emotionally and physically.
It's what stirs you down to your molecules when you experience a majestic sunset or the smile of someone you cherish. It makes your heart swell when your child reaches a milestone, or finally masters an essential life skill.
When things like that happen, we can be at a loss for words to describe how we feel inside. These are what I call the “inexpressibles” … things we want to share, but just can’t. But when our thoughts and feelings stay trapped inside, the chance for connection and relationship is cut off. Connection and relationship can only happen when the inside is brought to the outside … but God had a solution for that … a way to express the inexpressible … He made creatives!
Creatives are those special, lucky folks who He blessed with an ability to “see” the romance of life all around them. Then He gave each one special abilities – drawing, writing, painting, music, sculpting, etc. – to give them other ways to express that romance.
Somewhere I read someone tell the definition of a great writer, and I think it perfectly describes any kind of creative who does their job well:
A great writer is one who tells the reader what the reader already knows, but didn’t or couldn’t say for themselves. Every human on the planet can look around and experience the romance and wonder of life, but they can’t really express it.
So God sprinkled lots of creatives everywhere … they are all about us, all among us, all over the planet. Creatives look around and experience the romance and wonder of life. Then they hide away in a room or studio and write, compose, paint, sculpt, or whatever it is they do.
And every day one of the rest of us hears a song, reads a story, or sees colors and forms on a canvas, and we say, Aha! I knew that! I felt that!
The inside things come to the outside, and we feel a little more connected to our world and our fellow humans. That is your purpose, my fellow creatives. Don’t stop doing what you do!!