The Echo Conference [link] 2013’s 4th main session brought Matt Chandler [@MattChandler74] to the stage. He had a lot of impressing things to say, but one that stuck out to me was about how we drift away from God and find comfort in our roles rather than who God created us to be.
Countless times in the bible, the people of God drift away from who they are, their life missions, to chase after what they want. We are tricked/bewitched into thinking that we are what are talents make us, instead of children of the Creator.
Jesus addressed this countless times, telling us not to be deceived (even by ourselves). The people of Israel had many a prophet come to shout them back onto the proper path.
Because when our souls drift, and we become our roles, nothing is ever good enough. We begin to foster a culture of complaining: that song wasn’t good enough, that graphic just didn’t cut it, the bumper video was too distracting… We find an avalanche of things to complain about, letting them all roll down hill and pick up speed until we’ve created a snowball the size of a mountain. And down it rolls, crushing people beneath its cold, dense massiveness. We’re left contemplating why it came to this, and why our culture has become a cup filled to the brim with complainers, back-biters and devourers of exuberance. We stop challenging ourselves to work hard (because no one really sees what we do anyway… no one cares), or we start working even harder, barreling through our workday so that everything is impressive enough to put our names next to it… because it’s become about us.
All of this, because we lost sight of one thing: God delights in us. He doesn’t delight in our mastery of the pen tool. He doesn’t care that our mix is just right. He watched light spring forth into the universe; I don’t think our LED’s are ‘wowing’ him. To remember God’s delight in us, we have to get over ourselves. Our work will never ‘square’ us with God. That was Christ’s mission, not ours.
Matt related our creative work (it was a conference for artists and storytellers) this way. It’s like we are a part of a “cosmic ‘take your kid to work’ day.” Whatever we do – whether it’s pushing faders, honing our guitar licks, taking a photograph, writing a piece of copy – we are just kids at our dad’s office, and He’s doing the real work. And when He sees us making art out of the love that He’s given us, He delights in us and we in Him. That is the true nature of creativity, a delight in the magnificent Creator.