As a creative, I am always looking for new sources of inspiration. Music, film, art, a conversation with a friend, the Scriptures. Last week, I discovered another source – my past work.
I cleaned out a storage closet last Friday morning with one of our super volunteers at Crash. We found a lot of stuff we had forgotten we had, a lot of stuff we no longer needed, and we transformed a highly-used room from a stress zone into a comfortable resource venue.
One of the things I discovered were some art from 2009. We created a make-shift art gallery in the lobby of the Chapel before the Crash service, including works from people within our community who were responding to conversations we were having together.
I found a piece that I had written and frankly, I challenged myself! I remembered what that season in my life was like and how I struggled through it. I wonder if you have something stashed away like I did. A poem, an essay, a journal entry. A drawing, a painting, a picture. That gave you insight into your experience and a glimpse at the latent creativity within your soul. Sometimes, we lose sight of what we are capable of and a discovery like mine helps bring that potential back into clear view.
Today, as I think about the challenging work that lies ahead of me, I am finding creative inspiration…in my past work. I am reflecting on this piece and looking to live out the words I wrote almost three years ago. I hope this moves you as it did me.
Critics and Heroes – October 2009
It’s easy for me to be the critic
I can pinpoint inconsistencies and fallacies in others
I jump on their mistakes and squash their failures
I can be absolutely brutal when I see gaps outside of myself
But what happens when the gap is in me?
What happens when the problem isn’t out there, but in here?
What do I do when I realize that I clearly see the gaps in others
but I am blind to the gaps within me?
Confession? I prefer being the critic because it takes less courage
Being in the center of the ring takes guts and sometimes all I can muster is fear
I would never tell anyone this…that I have massive gaps in me
So, I just hide those gaps and loudly announce the heresy of others
What if God is more concerned with my hypocrisy than another’s heresy?
Wow. Just typing those words allows my arrogance to settle in the field of my vision.
There are a lot of days when I care more about others than I care about myself
A lot of times when I ignore myself and zoom in on others
President Teddy Roosevelt once said,
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
One of my friends consistently asks me, “Scott, where’s the hope?”
I think I must move from talking to doing and from critiquing to engaging
From fear to courage
From seeking out the heresy of others
To seeking God that my own hypocrisy would be transformed
If this series “Mind the Gap” is ultimately about “Mending the Gap” that is in me,
I am praying the result is that I would move from living as the critic to the hero