You are an instrument of God.
Don’t leave the instrument
sitting in its case my son. Play!
Leave no part of your instrument unexplored.
I don’t normally share this “bragging” kind of information, but it’s the recognition of a goal I’d set for myself. And in achieving it, it has silenced old naysaying ghosts and proved that even an old, gray-haired lady without any particularly impressive credentials or talents can fulfill, in some way, long held hankerings. As an educator and a parent, I always encouraged my students and my daughter to explore avenues that led to dreams or desires they held. To that end, James and I afforded for our daughter, ballet lessons, karate lessons, violin lessons, swimming lessons–in general anything she came home and said she’d like to try. As it turned out her skills as a swimmer earned her 5 full collegiate scholarships. Then there were the graduate degrees she attained. Though these things are no longer her little niches in the grand scheme of things, they’ve served her well, helped develop her character and values, and left her with no “what if” regrets. For me it was different, unless my dreams served a “practical” purpose, I was denied the pursuit of them. For example, I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to be a dancer, I wanted to be a singer but of course all such things were not at all “practical” and certainly no one could make a living doing them according to my parents. Then when it came time for college (something that no one on either side of my family had had the privilege and opportunity to attend), mom decided that it would be great if I became a teacher even though I didn’t want to be one. But since my father had just passed away leaving her to finish raising their 3 teenage daughters on her own and she had quashed all my other longings, what else could I do but be the dutiful daughter a girl of that era had no other choice but to be. But then came the day when the dutiful daughter retired after 31 years of teaching and chose to find ways to address those long held hungers. Now although she may not be an artist, she can take pretty darned good photos. Although she’s not a dancer, she and her hubby can scoot their boots pretty darned well around a dance floor. Although she’s not an published author, she can knock out some fair-to-middling prose now and again. And so today after starting my blog with NO followers 3 years ago, WP notified me that I hit 1000 followers. It may seem a small number to some of you, but my little previously unanswered “what if” regrets are singing Hallelujah choruses because at long last I’m playing my instrument in an attempt to serve God whose instrument I am.
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. ~Exodus 9:16 ✝
Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet
sculptor or photographer or musician or dancer
and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale
’til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
~Edited and adapted quote by
Ralph Waldo Emerson
How many of you liked to color when you were a child at least until someone said “you shouldn’t color outside the lines?” Or liked to build things that others knocked down for the fun of it? Or loved to twirl and dance around until someone laughed at you? Or beat out sounds on a little drum or hand made flute until someone implored you to quit making that awful racket? There are so many ways that unthinkingly people stifle the creative urge in us when we are young, and then we tuck the urges away until one day we have the courage to pick up that pen or that brush or that musical instrument or those ballet shoes or that camera or whatever to express that our creativity that has laid dormant within us. Wanna know why that urge is there and why it keeps coming to the surface? Scripture tells us that we are made in the image of God, the Creator of all that is. So that need within us is an inextricable part of who we are and it’s there to serve a sacred purpose. Now before you say, “Oh I’m just not creative.” Yes, you are! You have to be because you are part of the Creator of everything. Everybody is creative in some way. Look at all the ways in which Yahweh created. Some of you may be an imaginative cook, or homemaker, or gardener, or teacher, or statesmen, or preacher, or seamstress, etc. Not every one is designed to make music or write poetry or dance the light fandango. There are thousands of ways to be creative and all of them are valid and come from our inherent ability to be creative. Creativity is not a competition. And no one, simply no one, has the right to criticize or discourage us from fulfilling what we have been anointed to do. In fact, in my way of thinking, it’s sacrilege to try to do so. And it is also not for anyone else to judge the quality or the reason or the necessity of what we create. It’s a God-given right and mandate for all that He has made serves a purpose. So I offer the following things to think on:
1) To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong. ~Joseph Chilton Pearce
2) Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. ~Scott Adams
3) All creative outlets require courage. ~Anne Tucker
4) The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
5) What creativity offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike
6) Creativity is not a thing; it is a way. ~Elbert Hubbard
7) Creativity is the struggle to understand. ~Terri Guillemets
8) Life beats down and crushes the soul and creative outlets remind one that he/she has one. ~Stella Adler
9) Creativity is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail. ~Theodore Dreiser
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:27 ✝