A friend in a Facebook site (Creative Worship) gave a shout-out to a blog I enjoyed reading today.
Yes. Just yes!
Waiting for the “but”? Well, “IF” (not “but”) the Lord confirms -there are several ways He seems to do so in The Bible including more than just direct revelation to an individual, but via others, nature, common-sense need and a godly person’s efforts to help meet the need and alleviate the suffering, basic obedience to God’s clear scriptural commands and so forth.
Having said all this, creative people often are pioneers taking others where they’d not have likely gone or may have never thought of going to.
In any art mode of any type this is not uncommon. But often they produce the uncommon.
The problems are several as imaginative action often freaks people out as to what is really going on because it’s outside of “normal”. Well sometimes it’s actually beyond “pedestrian”, uninteresting, same-old-same-old, ordinary to the extent of being so typical it’s rather bland, sterile. But that pushes against some people’s natural sense of comfort, right? Hmmmm.
Many folks are put off by someone paving new ground, taking a different approach to old ways of thinking and doing and artists are often going against the mainstream current so at times are even considered a threat. As if Jesus was status quo??!
In that this happens often regarding race, culture, subculture, what’s common versus uncommon on your street it surely happens with artists and their offerings.
Lastly, numbers, popularity, the amount of press, sales, critical acclaim or disgust cannot be the measure of whether God has called you, whispered an artistic idea in your mind and heart to work with/work on/produce. Artists like all other humans are often indeed rebels who can be as insecure, stubborn, arrogant and as nasty as those who oppose them and their offerings. We must take care of our attitudes -and not wear acceptance or rejection of our art on our shoulder!
The mature issue -especially for art-makers who profess to follow Jesus, is to love your neighbor when they think both you and your art are weird, worthless and perhaps even outside of anything God would lead someone to offer. If you know anything about my life as a musician, speaker and such you know I’ve experienced this 🙂
Scripture speaks in several places (in both Testaments) about not judging another’s offerings because they’re ultimately brought before the Lord.
Even passages such as “Do ALL you do as unto the Lord” at core speak of both artists and those evaluating their work (as they speak to all people) to be done “in love”.
Ok, so some are thinking “Hey Glenn, some of this stuff is useless, seems ALL about self-gratification and self promotion of weirdness”. It may well be. And your sins aren’t any prettier than that painting you judge in that way. So… what??! Lock ’em up and forget anything like “sanctified imagination”? How do you think the zillions of truly excellent inventions, plenty you use daily came into being? IMAGINATION. “Crazy” ideas someone or several peeps had and they kept at it.
There are a loooooonnnnnggggg list of artists, musicians and others working in other modes who were repeatedly turned down, mocked and judged without any value who ended up making some of the most world-changing, brilliant and valuable work in history. Whether you or I end up in that sphere isn’t the point, but let’s face facts that either popularity or utter rejection of you or your work isn’t the end-all/be-all of creating.
We just never know what an artist will produce as they keep trying, mature, perhaps even hear the Lord prompting them to make something quite different from what’s been made before.
The Spirit of the Lord doesn’t promote fear… nor harsh judging of another person’s offerings to God.
So take a breath artists! Try. Fail too. Process. Learn. Keep at it. Very few begin with genius or wild acclaim from anyone, often not even their peers. “Seek and you shall find.” Just be sure you seek Jesus before, during and after. Leave the results with Him and don’t expect everyone to love you or your offerings. Love God and others WITH your offerings.
Things to consider? -Glenn