This week I’m playing guitar with some friends at a youth conference, so I’ve asked a friend to write a piece regarding creativity and spirituality.
David is a “slash guy”, meaning: singer/songwriter/guitar player/Jesus follower/creative guy. He is a dear friend and one of the best people that I know. Please follow him, and buy, lots, and lots of music from him.
But enough from me… Dave?
confession time: i’m a creative type (whatever that means). it’s likely that the handful of stereotypes that just went through your head are true about me. it’s a fact that i don’t have what we’d call “a steady job.” it’s been scientifically verified that i’m running no less than 30 minutes behind schedule precisely 97% of the time. you’ll find (over the course of reading this blog post, maybe) that i most certainly lack the tools to maintain a linear conversation. it’s all true. and even though it greatly resembles chaos, i’ve found myself thriving in it.
i’m of the belief that creativity isn’t a state of mind, but more a state of being. in other words, it’s not the way in which i’ve been made as much as it’s the way i’ve made my life work: in choosing to allow as much room as possible for that unpredictable and mysterious friend called inspiration–a friend who almost always shows up unannounced, at the most inconvenient times. the only predictable thing about inspiration, as far as i can tell, is that, if one gets comfortable ignoring it, it’ll return the favor by showing up less frequently until infrequently becomes not at all.
the main outlet of creativity for me these days is writing songs. in this pursuit, i’ve learned to make sure inspiration feels welcome at all times, which means i’m regularly waking up in the middle of the night to hum a melody into my iphone or sketch a design for the next album cover (two examples from this week). making inspiration feel welcome also means i may pull over on my way to an appointment because, while en route, a journal-worthy idea finds me, resulting in an inspired me showing up late to get his teeth cleaned.
it’s certainly not more convenient to be a creative type. i’ll even admit that, at times, it borders on inconsideracy to those around me–especially my wife (sorry, hon). and it’s not the road to stability, that’s for sure. that’s why every poet has parents telling them to get a business degree to fall back on. okay. truth be told, a creative life, in and of itself, is at best a foolish pursuit, and more often just a huge narcissistic “look-at-me” spectacle… but what if a creative life is necessarily bundled with eternity? wouldn’t that make it all worth while?
(aaaand the point…)
creativity has been the entry point to my life’s most spiritual and holy moments. i think that’s because God, who in just being, poured out the very idea of creativity and lavished it on His masterpiece (that’s you and me, friends). He’s waiting to meet us through beauty that doesn’t exist yet–at least not until we breathe life into it. God, who spoke the word, “sunset” and saw that it was good, reflects His magnificent beauty in each of us (regardless of whether we credit Him or not, i believe) whenever we choose to imitate that characteristic to make something beautiful out of a blank canvas or an empty stage or wood and strings or an adobe program or some spices and a particular cut of meat or…. (and the list goes on).
so, you wanna meet with God? create something beautiful. wanna worship God? notice and give credit to beauty’s inventor. wanna make space for that? allow yourself to be late to a meeting every now and again because you didn’t dismiss inspiration when it found you.
david greco is not a licensed blogger. he doesn’t even really read any blogs. wait. does 30 rock count as a blog? well, he doesn’t technically read that anyway. he just watches. mindlessly watches.