Ever since my vacation to North Carolina, and being overwhelmed with the beauty of nature there, I have found myself simply living in awe of God’s creation. I have been pretty much in sensory overload as I seek after more and more examples of beauty in what His hands have made. It turns out, the more you look the more you’ll find. I’ve pretty much discovered that you find what you look for:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 NIV
But now it seems everywhere I go I find myself snapping pictures of things that are not new to my streets, neighborhood, or commute, but that now seem striking and awe-inspiring. It is like something inside me has been awakened to a new level and depth of beauty. I will not liken it to my heart transformation, when I found Christ, but it is a distant second. It is definitely an obvious shift for me and I LOVE IT!
I have always been a guy that is drawn to the creative arts. I have never been especially brilliant at any one craft, but God put in me a desire to create beautiful things. I am not saying all that I create is beautiful, but it is my heart’s aim to reflect the beauty that I discover around me in what I create. I’ve dabbled in music: Trumpet for years, a little drums (real and Rockstar drumsets 🙂 ), guitar (electric, acoustic, bass) keyboards, etc. I’ve put my hand to poetry, prose, raps, and other song styles. I’ve messed with mediums of all sorts, oils, chalks, and now digital photography and digital artistry. As I look at each creation and their source of inspiration, it is apparent the driving force. That is what I want to share with you all today.
This is the first step, because without the inspiration nothing else will happen. For me, inspiration comes from being in God’s creation. Good thing about that is: IT’S EVERYWHERE. Ultimately I can find inspiration from just about anything in nature. For you it might be children playing, a dog digging a hole, cars speeding down the street, a crack in the sidewalk. There is no telling what God has made you to be inspired by, but he definitely created you to be inspired. Now it’s your task to look for that inspiration. I would also treat the idea of seeking inspiration a lot like you would a brainstorming session. There really are no wrong answers. Don’t count certain things out. Anything that doesn’t conflict with your values should be fair game. I say that because there are some things that might inspire that I choose not to view as they contradict a command that the Lord has given me for purity.
Step #2. Look for a Tool
Once you’ve been inspired, the rest is cheesecake. Now it’s simply finding a medium to use to express this inspiration. Don’t allow what you perceive yourself to be good at to guide you as much as what feels right to truly express this emotion you’ve captured. Be true to the inspiration and allow it to help you determine your tool. Maybe the vision of a baby crying would be best portrayed in a pastel drawing as opposed to a song. Maybe that sunset deserves a poem as opposed to an oil painting. You and the moment itself will have to really narrow that down. Sometimes trial and error at capturing the inspired thing wil help you figure out what’s best.
Step #3. Look for Joy
This last step, for some will be the most elusive and the difference between a successful work of art and a chunk of your time disappearing in vain. This is actually the key to releasing that creativity without really trying: JOY. In this act of tapping into the power of the ultimate creator, you must look for joy. This creation, though it will never be perfect and might cause moments of frustration, should be, when we get to its heart, an art of finding, experiencing, and releasing JOY. We were created with joy by a loving creator and we have been instructed to live with joy. What I love so much about creating is that it always seems to bring me closer to God in my spirit. I believe that is because through joy, I know more about what it means to live like Jesus and with the power of His holy Spirit than other times. It also links me to the joy I believe the father had for us as he crafted mankind.
Be inspired to craft with joy and it won’t feel like a job.
It won’t be work.
You won’t even remember having to try much at all.
You will, however, walk away with a creation that the world might not understand, but that you and God will love. Because, it was made as a work of joy.