“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV
Let’s talk about courage. When courage dies, creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun. This is common knowledge; sometimes we just don’t know what to do about it. Let me list for you some of the many ways you might be afraid to live a more creative life:
You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or-worst of all- ignored.
You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it.
You’re afraid somebody else already did it better.
You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously.
You’re afraid your best work is behind you.
You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back.
You’re afraid you're too old to start.
You’re afraid you’re too young to start.
Goodness. This is only the top of the list and as you can see… fears can become a bottomless pit and a depressing one. Let’s just wrap this part up by stating that everything can be scary!
Please understand that the only reason I can speak so authoritatively about fear is that I know it so intimately. I’ve experienced so many things from my childhood to now that would have me very comfortably sitting in a corner watching others live their lives.
Over the years, I often wondered what finally made me stop being so afraid. A lot had to do with growing up, learning, and securing (within myself) my identity in Christ Jesus. But mostly, I think it was just this: I finally realized that my fear was boring. I somehow figured out that my fear had no variety to it, no depth, no substance, no texture. I noticed that my fear never changed, never delighted, never offered a surprise twist or an unexpected ending. My fear was a song with only one note - only one word, and that word was STOP!
This means that my fear always made predictably boring decisions, like a choose-your-own ending book that always had the same ending: nothingness. True, the volume may vary from person to person, but the song itself never changes, because we were all tricked with the same basic fear package of being afraid of the unknown. But there’s nothing particularly compelling about that. Do you know what I mean? Fear is a deeply ancient, old trick of the enemy, but it isn’t especially smart.
We fixate so much on fear as if it is the most interesting thing in life. When in fact, it is the most mundane thing. It’s time to realize that we have creativity living within us that is original. A personality within us that is original. I have dreams. You have dreams, perspectives, and aspirations that are original, unique, and given to us by our great creator. But my fear was not original. It is something that is just mass produced, available on the shelves of any generic box store. And in truly thinking about it… That’s the thing I want to build my entire identity around? The most boring instinct that I possess? NO. In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37). It’s time to remember who God called us to be.
May the Lord bless you with dreams of remembrance. With new dreams, with tactical steps and measures in how to move forward. May you be obedient to these steps no matter what others may say or what you may even say to yourself. May your creativity be inspired, set on fire, and burning for what God has called you to do. Favor. Grace. Gentleness. Freedom. COURAGE.
Blessings to you,
Media Director at The Tabernacle