I made a quiet pledge at the beginning of January to pursue a year of increased creativity and fruitfulness.
The kernel of the idea is that I saw how for years I warded off creative fruitfulness out of a prideful disposition. I only wanted my name attached to a craft or a product or a piece if I felt that it was the best it could be.
Mercifully, God has largely protected my relationships with others from this sort of self-authenticating motive. If I only associated my name with that which I deemed perfect and perfectly representative of my skill, I would be a blind fool. For God has not done so with me. He has poured reservoirs of energy, care, and love into my life. We are His craft, and we would have already frustrated His artistic vision into abandonment if He were any less of an artist. He is a God who creates and actualizes beauty from hearts of rebel stone. He sees beyond the limitations of the medium of sinful man. He therefore calls us holy and beloved (Col. 3). May we be devoted to His creative work in each other, associating with the lowly (Rom. 12) and admonishing the idle, helping the weak, and being patient with all (1Thess. 5).
But how quick I am to thwart my creative effort when it does not meet my expectations. Here I see a very real division between God’s vision of work and mine. I will live and die frustrated by my work and even more frustrated by the work I thwarted before I even began. And why would this be the case? By estimating far too highly my judgments on its value.
And so this year is one of creativity, perhaps for nothing less than pronouncing the death of my own judgments and opinions about the worth of whatever words and songs and deeds God has placed in me. He is indeed the author and finisher of all faith. I give up my rights to pursue deadening perfectionism. I long for His life, His voice, to find expression through my life and my voice. And He gets to decide what to do with the smallest of offerings. He multiplies the bread and the fish. He opens the barren womb. He blesses the meek.
And bushes for many birds to nest in come from the smallest of seeds. He does not call me to success, but to things far better. So, to a year of creativity, to the glory of God and the good (may it be so) of my fellow man.