Waiting for the Muse?

The blank page stares back. I’m trying out figure out what to write. This is agony but I write nonetheless. The blockage, the obstacle or as Steve Pressfield in The War of Art calls it, resistance, tries to stop me. I press on. I write even though I have no clear idea. It slowly becomes a matter of discipline.

Disciplines, the developing of habits, doing something religiously, all lead you to the place of kicking resistance in the teeth. Peace is not an option in this one place. The struggle can lead to a place of peace even in the fight. The struggle is life long and ever persistent. Resistance is insidious. I’m beginning to think it is part of our fallen nature.

Fear is the greatest resistance in my life. I’m getting to a place of not caring any more. I will write and fail. Some of it will be profound much may be drivel. Regardless, I face my fear, get my ideas written and move on to the next thing. I do not fear judgment but I’m open for constructive criticism. I do not fear rejection but embrace failing and learning from it. I do not fear others’ opinions but rest in the opinion my Creator has of me.

I ultimately seek to tap into the divine creative Spirit. This is a high challenge for Christians in the creative realm. A great deal of Christian art does no justice to the God of creation because it takes the creative act too lightly. Much too often the creative work done is superficial, preachy and insipid. When salt loses its flavor…This might be the reasons so many roll their eyes at ‘Christian’ movies and so on. The creative act is an act of passion. Creativity must embrace that passion and the unexpected ways the Spirit will lead. You and those around you might be surprised at how it turns out. The grace of God is a wild and marvelous gift.

Grace and peace,

JWR

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Profound works of staggering genuis

A few years back I had the privilege of standing before Van Gogh’s ‘Irises’ at the Getty Center. It is the one painting there that I will surely see any time I visit. Yet this last time that I saw it, it brought me to tears. Here is this painting, by a tormented soul of a man, now considered a genius years after his death. His paintings are priceless. How is it that paint on a canvas can bring someone to tears or evoke awe? Seeing the paint strokes, the colors, the composition and all the elements comprising the work provide a medium for communication that carries one over to a higher place. I consider Van Gogh a genius because his work still touches people. So much of his life is tied up in his paintings, it was the one thing he had to do, his passion.

The Pauline letter written to the church in Ephesus echoes the passion God has for us. The letter states:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph2.10.NIV (italics mine)

The NASB speaks of ‘workmanship’ and many other translation state, ‘God makes us what we are…’ We are His works of creation, His passion. The Greek word for handiwork is poema. A work of art invested with the very life of God, we have His fingerprints all over us, so to speak. The passion of God, while exemplified in the cross of Christ, is not limited to the cross but encompasses the totality of creation that was and will be redeemed. We are part of that beautifully crafted work and we have the privilege of participating in that work.

I firmly believe every brother or sister in Christ has a work that is potentially a profound work of staggering genius. It is their passion. One aspect of the unrelenting and wild passion of God they can reflect. We all need to find that in ourselves and recognize it others and encourage one another to fulfill that passion. Whether it is painting, poetry, woodworking, teaching, serving the poor, challenging government or whatever that passion might be, pursue it. In addition, do not think about it. Do it.

Grace and peace,

JWR

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