David is a professional landscaper and extremely talented. A few years ago, he was asked to take the position of Master Gardener at a large estate. The new owner gave David a general idea of what he was looking for and left the details up to him. After accepting the job, David set out to make the property beautiful. Trees and shrubs were planted and a large waterfall with lily ponds was added, along with a great variety of exotic flowers. Attractive rock pathways adorned the grounds and the grandeur of the estate was improving nicely.
Then one day, as the owner took a stroll around his property with David, he seemed disappointed. Noticing this, David inquired of the problem. “It doesn’t look finished, I expected more,” was the owner’s reply.
David understood his frustration, but also knew he was on track to achieving the results he wanted. “Gardening is a process, not an event,” he encouraged.
“It takes time for the trees and shrubs to grow filling in the bare spots, for the plants to become hearty and full. Give it time and you will have just what you’ve been looking for.”
Thinking about this, I realize David’s statement is true regarding anything we deem important or precious, creativity not excluded. Yes, like the owner of this large estate, we all want results and most of us want them right away; but creative fulfillment will only come when we learn to enjoy the process and grow with it.
Terri longs to be a successful artist. She has taken several drawing and painting classes and faithfully works on her art at home. After seeing her latest painting, I mentioned how nicely it turned out. Her response, “Maybe in a few years and after a lot more classes, I’ll be good.” The tone of her voice made me wonder if she was having any fun at becoming an artist.
“The important thing is that you enjoy the process,” I replied.
Her tone changed and a smile rolled across her face as she said, “Oh, but I do.”
Yet, it was then Terri realized her resolve to succeed occasionally interfered with how she really felt. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation, where the prospect of greatness consumed you? We must be careful not to become so pre-occupied with the outcome that we forget God designed the process with a purpose in mind.
Results are important, even necessary. They give us a sense of accomplishment and a platform whereby we can be heard; but it doesn’t begin or end there for the artist. When success comes, it’s only a part of the equation, a piece of the puzzle, a glimpse of the vast resource within each one of us. Once we finish a piece of art, a quilt, a poem, a song, the purpose isn’t merely to be impressed by what we’ve produced and then quit. Instead, the finished product beckons us to initiate a new one. The same holds true for dancers, musicians, and other artisans; we willingly participate because of a passion for our creative expression, acknowledging practice takes much longer than performing. Moreover, the success of our performance depends upon our preparation. Ultimately, the moment of applause won’t seem worth it, if the process doesn’t satisfy.
Excerpt from: Created to be Creative. To purchase book use link below. 🙂
Created to be Creative
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