is this a problem?

My aunt is an amazing cook and seamstress, and she recently has taken up painting.  As no surprise to me, she's really good at it!  I asked her if she paints regularly or if she needs a shot of inspiration to hit in order to produce something.  "I have to be inpsired to do it," she replied, "It's the same with my sewing."  Intially I was really surprised!  I just assumed that she would carve out time in a day to create.

But creativity of the very best sort requires inspiration, doesn't it?

This is when I really began to wonder about the balance between inspiration and discipline.

Is it possible that a disciplined approach to creativity can yield the same results as an inspired approach?  Or to the contrary, could I wait for a sudden jolt of inspiration and then produce something creative without much practice?

And then another question surfaced:

Is inspiration my problem?

Could it be that I have become an inspiration junkie?

I admitted in the last post that I have a tendency to be drawn into the latest, greatest of things - everything from devotional books, to home magazines, to exercise dvds....  But when I turn to these things, what exactly am I looking for?  And what exactly are the results I get?

I tell myself that I'm looking for inspiration on blogs and in books and magazines and other peoples homes and stories.  I try to make myself believe that if the pictures and testimonies are powerful enough, these things will change my life.  These things will become the driving force behind making the choices I need to make in order to live the life I want.

But what I've ended up with are hours wasted online, stacks of pretty magazines and a drawer full of dvds....with the same life, the same struggle day to day.

I've come to learn that what I hoped to get from things was not inspiration, as I've told myself, but discipline.  The small steps and purposeful choices one makes not because they feel like it (or are inspired to do) but because they have decided.  Pretty magazines cannot change my mind.  Christ in me is what changes my thinking; (Galatians 2:20)   Because of that I can discipline myself to become who the Lord intends for me to be.

Please allow me to finish my thoughts with 2 disclaimers:

1 - I'm not saying there's anything wrong with getting inspired by any of the above mentioned things.  It is always about balance (hence the picture of my son walking across that tight rope).  As inspiration, these things are fun and great for ideas....as a replacement for discipline?  not so effective!

2- Maybe you, fine reader, think I am crazy to struggle with these concepts.  I wouldn't be surprised in the least, given that I generally walk around thinking that everyone has a more disciplined life than I!  But if this has spoken to your heart, I pray for you as much as for myself, that we wouldn't leave Truth in our hearts alone, but that it would flow out through our words and deeds.

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word."
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

1 comment:

  1. Deanne27.5.11

    Love this one. You are not alone! I can totally relate. It's like I tell my kids, it's a choice!! I should be telling myself the same thing. I am the same as, thinking everyone else is more disciplined than me. You would think that would "inspire" me. :) Thanks for encouragement today.
    PS. I know Abby wants her space at girls camp, but I keep thinking how great it would be to have you down. Maybe one day I can work at 2nd kids.


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