The Drawer


Imagine creating something with God that is beyond your wildest dreams.

You can’t wait to show others. To launch it. To watch it accelerate as the world discovers it.

And then God whispers to you, “That was just for the two of us. It’s not something to share. Go ahead and put it in the drawer.”

If it stopped there, would it be enough?

After all, it’s something you created with the Creator of the universe. He stirred the idea and the two of you actively and intimately pursued it together. Through a hundred thousand words or brushstrokes or hours in the garage, you spent time breathing something new into existence with God.

That’s huge. But is it enough?

There’s something in us that wants to push back and say, “No, it’s not enough. That can’t be all there is.”

Try and identify what this question raises in you. Rather than dismiss the question by saying God would never ask such a thing or your deadline doesn’t allow for such a luxury, step into this. Ask God to interpret why the possibility of putting your work in a drawer would be so hard.

It’s a heart question. Because God cares more for your heart than your art.

Perhaps you see God as an efficient teacher and you’ve become a student of efficiency. Does creating something with God that no one else will see seem like the ultimate waste of time? Maybe you’ve tied your validation as an artist to how others respond to your work. Or you’re driven by the belief that others need what you are creating. But your art was never intended to bear the burden of another’s praise or to somehow be your rescue.

God is the original Creator. But He didn’t primarily create humankind because He needed our approval or validation. He didn’t primarily create us to do things for Him. He created us first and foremost so we can know Him and be known by Him intimately.

So much of this comes down to the expectations we place on our art and ourselves. And the key to understanding that is knowing how we define success for our calling.

When we enter into our art WITH God, success happens as we create – not later based on external events. That means the art you are creating with God is successful before anyone sees it. It is successful even if no one ever sees it.

Believing this allows you to create from a place of success rather than in pursuit of success.

The life you have with God while creating determines the power your art will have. That is because true art is first relational. Not between you and a canvas but between you and God. Creation was never meant to happen in isolation or a void. Creation transforms the void. Relational creativity is transformational creativity. As you spend time in God’s presence, first you are changed. Then your art changes.

But we misstep if we demand the transformational always be functional. The art you create with God may or may not be meant for others. When it is, that’s a bonus. But it’s never a promise.

You overcome when you stop worrying about the outcome.

Before your art can capture the hearts of others, it must first be set free from expectations.

Your art doesn't make you. You make your art. Your art doesn’t validate you. Only God has the power to do that.

You'll be amazed how high your creations will fly when they no longer have to carry you.

Which brings me back to my original question. Imagine that you and God create something together and God whispers, “That was just for the two of us. It’s not something to share with the world. Go ahead and put it in the drawer.”

If it stopped there, would it be enough?

© Allen Arnold, 2019

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