About a year ago, Joe Boyd taught me a very important lesson while speaking at Vineyard Community Church. It’s a lesson that has been pivotal in my life and in my journey over the past year. Joe is a great storyteller…and a history lover and I think that is one reason this particular lesson is still so fresh in my mind. He talked about the Wright brothers and their passion for inventing and their desire to fly…and how other people doubted and just didn’t “get it.” (Of course he told their story much more creatively and eloquently than I am recounting it here). The lesson here was Continue reading
What have I gotten myself into? About a month back I received an invitation to an event for Cincinnati creatives. My first reaction…well I don’t know how these people got my name but I’m certainly NOT one of those people. Me…a creative? No way. I didn’t delete the email, but I didn’t immediately clear my social calendar either. A few days later I found myself re-reading the invitation, slightly intrigued, but still certain that I had mistakenly received this invite. I researched the host group, an amazing group of people out of Chicago called STORY, and became even more intrigued – and more convinced that I would not be going. The whole thing worked in my brain for a few days and I mentioned the event to Brian. His automatic response was “Well, you’re going, right?” For a week he asked me – often – if I had registered yet. I finally caved and registered. Waves of doubts and fears instantly rushed over me. What does one do at a creative meet-up? Have I ever been to a social mixer? I’m not a creative, I’m just a middle-aged school teacher who writes songs and sings. And then I made the mistake of looking at the list of the “others” who had registered for this event. Oh wow…more waves. More anxiety about walking into a luncheon by myself and feeling insecure about why I’m even there.
I truly believe timing is everything. My teaching pastor, Joe Boyd, recently tweeted about a book by one of his close friend, Todd Henry, called The Accidental Creative. (I have mentioned this book in another posting). Intrigued even more after seeing Joe interview Todd about creativity, I began reading the book. Here’s why I’m going to walk into my meet-up, mixer, luncheon tomorrow like I belong…I do belong! I AM one of those creative types. I am a songwriter, a singer, a writer, a blogger. My thoughts and ideas and creations were put in me by the ultimate creator. I have just as much right to be there as anyone else on the guest list. I may not have a big title, or run my own business, or any of that, but I do create and I do have a lot to share with the world. I am still nervous about going tomorrow – what will I wear, where will I sit, will anyone talk to me – kind of first day of school stuff – but I am more excited about the opportunity to learn more about myself and others at this event. I am ready to meet up with more people like me – the creative type!
So I woke up around 3:45 a.m. unable to breath, feeling the onset of a panic attack and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I hate waking up like that. I am a worrier…its just what I do. I fight it and try earnestly to turn things over to God and let him take care of them. I try. And some days I am very good at that…and some days I am not. When I sat straight up in bed with tears of worry streaming down my face, it caught me off guard. I hadn’t had a night like this in a while. I was worrying about immediate things, things that are out of my control, things that may or may not happen in 20 years. I tossed and turned and tried to clear my mind. I tried to be rational (not an easy task at 4:00 a.m.). The harder I tried to stop worrying, the more I worried. After about an hour of exhausting my list of things to worry about, it hit me. I had been a slacker…I had not been turning things over to God. I had not been praying as often and as focused as I know I need to do. I was not feeling especially close to my God. It had been a subtle “lull” in my relationship with him. And then it hit me some more…I was the one who had changed. God is always ready to guide and lead and listen, but I was the one who had created distance. Just a small bit of space in my relationship – a lack of focus in my prayer life had caused my sense of panic and unrest. I had moved. I find a bit of comfort in that – not that I had let myself down – but that as easy as it was for me to lose my focus, it was just as easy to find my way back!