He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God;*
many shall see, and stand in awe,
and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:3)
Last fall I became a music student for the first time since high school. I’d been talking about taking guitar lessons for the last 25 years but you know about that road paved with good intentions. There were all sorts of obstacles like school and relationships and work and children and suddenly you look like an aging Peter Frampton without the hard-charging rock ‘n roll lifestyle to show for it.
So what changed? My youngest son, Zack, decided to take up the bass guitar and rather than drive him to his lesson every week just to sit and stare at my iPhone, I scheduled a concurrent lesson.
It’s not as if I hadn’t touched my guitar for all that time but it was a rare occurrence. Over the years I’d kept the old Fender Stratocaster in my office closet, perhaps as a window into younger days or even as an icon of guilt. Every once in a while, when it had been that kind of day, I’d plug it in and crank up the amp after everyone had left. Finally, after all these years, my guitar has come out of the closet and now that I’m actually taking lessons again I’m learning new things every week and some of them even stick.
There’s something about tapping into your latent creative side that is wonderfully enriching. I find it’s especially easy for adults to lose their creative edge amid the demands of simply getting through the day. Like everything else in life – including prayer – it takes intentionality to carve out time for creativity. It’s not about the talent – fortunately – it’s about finding things that nurture the soul and allow us to use the gifts and passions bestowed upon us by God. I’m trying both metaphorically and literally to plug into this but pursuing your creativity may well be unplugged – like art or writing or cooking or gardening or woodworking. As I’ve recently rediscovered, even the most latent creativity is a window into the divine.
What do you do to nurture your creative side?
Is there a “new song” God might be putting in your mouth? An activity or project God might be calling you to take up?