|Annette M. Irby|
Good Monday, friends! We've come to our final post in our Creative Best series. How are you doing with the elements we've discussed so far? I've been challenged! I hope you've been encouraged. I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
Okay, on with it! Here is the passage we've examined over the past several Mondays, from Galatians 6:4-5 in the Message Bible:
Make a careful exploration of who you are
and the work you have been given,
and then sink yourself into that.
Don’t be impressed with yourself.
Don’t compare yourself with others.
Each of you must take responsibility
for doing the creative best
you can with your own life.
Today's focus is on the phrase: (for doing the creative best) you can with your own life
Writing can consume your life, can’t it? Ideas come in the strangest places. In the shower, for example. Now, how practical is this? “That’s just what would fix that scene! Where’s a pen?” Shampoo is running into your eyes. Not exactly the best place to scribe a chapter revision. ;-)
The writing life is just that—it’s your life. It’s your focus. But that's not all bad.
Writing is a calling. From God. As He was knitting you together in your mother’s womb, He knew your calling. I imagine Him looking ahead to the days when you would realize your life’s purpose. And the day you’d accept it. The first time you would take pleasure in doing what He created you for. Do you remember those moments? Cherish them.
But, like other areas of our lives, this can go sideways. Writing can become an obsession. That’s not what God wants. He is our everything.
Writing can offer so much affirmation and acclamation, that we fixate on our books, our next project, positive reader letters, good reviews, rewards, contests. Careful. It’s going sideways.
Writing can bring us so much joy we forget to draw what we need from the Lord first and write out of our overflow. We turn to the act of writing or editing or blogging in order to fulfill a deep need for communion, accomplishment, success, or affirmation, rather than to God who longs to fill that place inside us.
Of course, the flipside is the pain of a bad review, or a rejection, or difficult contest results. If we've sunk all our hope (for our future, for a fulfilling life, for joy) into our writing career, and things don't go according to our plans, we might be devastated. We might even give up. That would be tragic.
Another aspect is we can write from our own experiences in ways that will minister to others. Our testimonies may help others through their pain or trials. In this way we use our lives to be our creative best.
So, this writing thing is about your life. It is the focus of your life’s calling. It cannot be your top priority—God is. It cannot take first place in your activities, (to the detriment of family, for example). But it must be a high priority. It must be a cause you’ll spend your life on.
Are you doing the creative best you can with your own life?