Why We Need to Create Right Now
Quarantine. 3 months ago, this word may have conjured up images of sterile, white-tiled rooms with isolated people in hospital gowns being visited once daily by people in hazmat suits. Fast forward to today and we understand that "quarantine" can take place in our own living room-turned-home-offices and the only visitors we get are our family members we seem to step on every time we move.
A few months into this 2020 quarantine, it seems there are two kinds of people and I'll attempt to summarize the thought processes of these two groups below.
"What should I do with this time that's been dropped in my lap?" I'll make a list!
1. Maybe find a new show to binge (or just re-watch "The Office" for the 11th time)
2. Try that new healthy recipe (or just eat more Oreos...)
3. Read that new book I got for Christmas (or just combine those first two things)
"I've never been more overwhelmed with tasks in my life! How will I get it all done? I'll make a list!
I'm now a home-school teacher and I'm going to get these kids organized and maintain their learning schedule (or end up with a daily mess on the dining room table and just be glad they didn't kill each other today)
I'm going to shower and do my hair everyday for my Zoom calls and home-office work to maintain a sense of purpose (or ask my spouse if the pasta stain on my shirt will be visible on my next Zoom)
I'll take a walk or a jog everyday to stay active and in shape (or collapse in front of the TV every evening wondering how I'll get through tomorrow)
Whether or not you fall into either of these groups exactly, and undoubtedly we all have experienced most, if not all of these things, or similar versions of them throughout these strange times, we all are reaching for ways to fill or find time. I wanted to write this blog post to offer a suggestion on how to do just that...or the other.
My suggestion is to CREATE. To give life to something that did not exist before you made it. To use your time sharing some part of your image-of-God created self with the rest of His creation. See, while there is nothing inherently bad about anything I listed in the groups above, the majority of those things are striving to either consume or control as a way of dealing with quarantine. We're tempted to consume entertainment or empty calories or to control things we have no hope of controlling (i.e. kids who have been thrown out of routine and into a quarantine). Now, please pause here and remember to give yourselves grace when you overindulge those temptations...but, what if we could move past those things? What if we had the ability to not just take in and harness the world around us, but, also had the ability to GIVE something to that world?
"But I'm not a creative person". "I want to be creative, but others are so much better at it than me". These and other excuses can keep us from being creative, but, now is the time to answer those doubts that come from a negative, or even evil place with the Christian courage that claims our own re-creation in Christ and therefore our ability to reflect His love and light in creations of our own.
So, let's get to work! Write that poem. Start that novel. Paint that landscape. Pull out that old guitar or lift the cover off that piano and MAKE SOMETHING. You don't have to win an art contest to be a painter, sell a million records to be a songwriter, or be featured in Bon Appetit to be a baker. MAKE SOMETHING.
As a closing thought, I'd direct your attention to Psalm 96: 1-3, you can read it here:
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
As a songwriter, I'm drawn to the musical language in this psalm and it inspires me to continue creating songs to the glory of God and as an expression of His love and light in my life. If you're not a songwriter, but rather a painter, knitter, baker, landscaper, sculptor, writer, etc., then bake a new creation, paint a new painting, write a new short story to "praise his name" and to "declare...his marvelous deeds." We need to be creative right now because it not only will stretch us to add something beautiful to our world, but, in so doing, we will WORSHIP. As you knead the dough, mix the paint, or pen the essay, do so in WORSHIP, friends.
Let's get going and get creative. If anyone feels led (and we hope some may be) we'd love for you to share any of your creations on our Facebook page . God bless you and GO MAKE SOMETHING!