Creating. It’s a messy, unscripted process. It involves planning, failing, trying, almost getting there, restarting, and occasionally hitting the jackpot on the first try.
This is true for the creative process. Birthing something new involves ingenuity and risk. We are creating when we push past the comfortable (regurgitating previous creations), to bring forth something new.
I was reminded of this when someone shared an old song with me ‘the color green’ by Jim Morrison. The song, spoken word poetry layered over a bubbling, rising and falling melody of a grand piano, is both soothing and captivating.
Going against the grain
Lyrically, Morrison’s poetry uses symbolism, imagery and does not follow any set structure. It may be perceived as strange or abstract, especially considering it is a song written by Morrison as praise to God.
Morrison took a creative risk, going against the grain of typical songs of praise, both musically and lyrically. He married a stripped back classical piano style with an ambiguous spoken praise for God inspired by the color green. In fact, you may not even recognize, on first hearing, that it is a song of praise. It is only once you begin to truly focus on the lyrics that you discover deep spiritual themes which are imbedded in the song.
Similarly to Morrison, we must reach beyond the corners of the known to birth something new and truly creative. The process takes patience and chances failure; you can’t predict the audience’s response. I would venture, however, that risk eventually pays off. Often creative risk is where the success of well-known artists found its origins.
Risk taking pays off
We can see this through the development of bands who took the risk of combining their love of praise with the rock genre. Petra, for example, a group on the forefront of Christian rock which formed in the 70s, helped widen the horizon of genres of praise. After facing serious pushback against mixing Christian music with rock, the band became quite successful in their industry and their musical style filters into the Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) we listen to today.
As Christians we serve a God who is the Creator Himself and desires for us to co-create with Him. I urge you to let yourself dream with God, go out on a limb with Him and simply see what happens. I champion the church to press forward across spheres of society which require creative ingenuity. Like Morrison and Petra, let’s become leaders in innovation! The process may be strange or unusual, but we can do it hand in hand with He who is the source of all imagination.
Lucy Miles can often be found singing or dancing her way through any one particular moment. Such joyous expression is brought forth from her love of the Lord, learning and people. She currently lives in Switzerland and is enrolled in a Ministry and Leadership Development School with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and is excited to step into a staff role in January of next year.