"I believe there is something encouraging about the labored work of a genius. Beethoven wrestled notes onto the page. For him composing music was a messy, physical process. " Jill Carattini
I've been fortunate enough to spend a week in Johannesburg, South Africa, with close family and a friend. I must have you know, that I write now, sitting on someone's lawn, with blades of grass crunching beneath the pressure of my weight.
Crunchy grass in Johannesburg.
Blades of grass are a ponderous thing. They make me think of us, the human race- you know, we come in different colors; shapes & sizes. We share the same Creator: organically made individuals anyway, as desperate lawn owners would be well acquainted with synthetic grass.
The quote above is from a newsletter I'm subscribed to, by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. It made me think of 3 creators:
The first one being the Ultimate, who stands as the Steven Spielberg, in a room of aspiring film students who can only look at His work in absolute awe.
The second, being an art lover. I was at Arts on Main, on Fox Street, and was direly fascinated by the choice of hairstyles "hipsters" sported. One of my favorites was a bowl haircut a young woman neatly showed off with an outfit, I could have described as a composition fit for Van Gogh(I say this without spite/scorn, but with sincere appreciation.). This woman created something of her own- something only she can interpret correctly, as she knows exactly what her intentions were with her high waisted leather cut off shorts, and other items.
The third, an artist, and aren't we all in our own right? I walked into an art gallery, exhibiting two artists' work, and containing two oil tank truck loads worth of art resources. As I took a brief tour of the place, I found a few incomplete linocut prints/carvings. It's hard to describe, but I felt as though my heart would explode from an influx of awe and intense appreciation- OH MY HAT! This same day, I spent some time with a beautiful soul, an old friend of mine whose photography moved something within the dark depths of my inner being- while going through some of his recent images on his camera, I felt a surge of passion ripple through my heart. How something so simple could move me in that way, remains a mystery to me. He took a seat next to me, and leaned in, to see where exactly I was in the informal gallery of his images. I browsed slower so he could explain what he meant with his composition, and after he helped me dissect a few images casually, it hit me that much thought goes into the creation of an image/object, whether conscious or subconscious. . . One photo, he explained, had happened by 'mistake', but to me, made complete sense.
Carved sheets of linoleum.
So, we create: in our heads; with our hands and with the movement of our tongues.
We are creators, I say with confidence. The cause, I have found, is our Creator.
He took time to create each one of us, our inner beings and physical too
(Psalm 139:13&14); He fashioned us for Himself- bodies for acts of worship, minds for thoughts bringing Him glory, and lips to proclaim His greatness.
The trouble begins when we are out of touch with our Creator. Imagine, owning a fully electronic motorcar, with all the 'extras'- the buttons and special modes, without a manual, or means to communicate with the manufacturer. I don't believe for one moment, that an individual could use that car to its full potential- in fact, we may find that the said person could do the car more harm than good, with incorrect use.
Think briefly about talented secular artists(authors, musicians, visual artists, film producers, etc.), and the wealth they may accumulate in a lifetime. It seems like a pretty solid life, except, we see it within the confines of our standards. My thoughts are that God(yes, I said the G word)'s standards are a lot higher than ours, His plans, beyond our wildest imagination. While we prize wealth as a good criteria for a good life, He promises us more than that- as unglamorous as it might seem, heavenly wealth may be the best investment to keep, after all, God is the Man of the moment, who thought of money- prosperity and everything else that may come to mind. In Matthew 6:19&20, He reminds us about the little value our earthly wealth has.
These, above mentioned individuals find themselves hungry for more. You could call it a vicious cycle. When we use our God-given talents for anything else but His glory, we get stuck in a 'rut'. The praise/credit received is never enough; instead of leading people to God with our talents, we lead them away from Him, in the completely opposite direction.
God, a perfect Being, knows what He intends with us when He creates us. He has purpose for a good sense of humor, for beauty, for wit, for a voice with body, for passion, for sensitivity, for a good eye for unique images, for care, for nimble fingers, for creativity, for good creative writing skill, for rhythm, for speed, for unusually curly hair, for dark skin, for long arms, for height, for extra caution, and a host of other things.
Any good product is can be used to its optimum when the manufacturer can hint about how to make use of it. Imagine that car, perhaps a Ferrari, being used as hearse rather than a race car because it seems similar to one- it has four wheels, doesn't it? A car made for speed racing, being used to transport dead bodies- at respectable speeds. It is the same with us, people created from the creativity of an Infinite Being- who moulded and shaped us with great purpose- using our gifts incorrectly.
An author who spends her time writing dark fantasies, rather than novels/stories revealing truth and most importantly: Life, may find she robbed herself when that day comes, and her physical wealth equates to nothing, in the eternal run.
Our error is our disconnection from Him.
If we spend more time referring to our manuals, and seeking advice from our Manufacturer, we may find ourselves living lives of fulfillment, rather than greed, and discontent.
Refer to Manufacturer. It's the best you can do, for yourself & the community around you.